Monday, July 23, 2007

Mma Ramotswe: Shooting of movie makes Kgale Hill busy

source: Botswana Press Agency
23 July, 2007

GABORONE - A simulated real-life shopping centre at the foot of Kgale Hill is currently a beehive of activity as the setting for the shooting of the movie and the television series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. This follows the decision by the film directors and producers to choose Kgale View as the central setting to the shooting of the movie which began on July 9 2007.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is a passionate story chronicling the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the traditionally built, sensible and wise proprietor of the only female -owned detective agency in Botswana.

Her agency is located in a small store-front at the foot of Kgale Hill. The character of Mma Ramotswe is played by international celebrity Jill Scott.

The simulated shopping centre draws inspiration from Alexander McCall Smiths serialised novels to bring to life the kind of environment under which Mma Ramotswe works as she investigates cases and helps people solve problems in their lives.

The set designed by Johnny Breedt, draws inspiration from existing establishments in Gaborone, Lobatse, Mahalapye and Serowe.

The directors have simulated, among other buildings, familiar places such a double storey building located at the shopping complex commonly referred to as Dabuthas mall and a popular chemist in the African Mall.

The mall buildings in the set include Double Joy, The Humble Pharmacy, Meat Great & Butchery, Sepadupa Spares and Repairs, Patels Comfort Store, Sorinyane Hi Tek Electricals, Kgale Post Office and Blue and Red General Dealer and, Last Chance Hair Saloon The set becomes even more familiar due to the existence of informal sector activities as vegetable stalls, iron roof barber shops, cellular phone and Kwik Recharge cubicles for street vendors.

Film Publicist Joy Sapieka highlighted in an interview that the set has a potential of becoming a tourist attraction in the future.

She said they have signed for a ten year lease with the Government and after the shooting of the film and the series the buildings will stay.

It will be a lovely idea to put it as a tourist attraction. In most countries, film sets eventually become big tourist attractions, she said.

Ms Sapieka said that in most cases after watching the movie or film people want to visit the actual set where the film was shot. She said there is a possibility of a television series for all the other series books by McCall Smith to be shot at the set.

Ms Sapieka said because of the set being closer to real-life buildings they have already received [continue reading]

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