British movie star Idris Elba says he not only wants to make more films in Africa, but wants to help develop the film industry on the continent.
The 49-year-old actor stars in the new movie ‘Beast’, which has been entirely shot in South Africa, and revealed that he wants to pave the way for more major films to be made on the continent.
Idris, whose mother and father hail from Ghana and Sierra Leone respectively, told the i newspaper: “I’m really keen on the development of Africa. My parents come from Africa and more than anywhere in the world, I feel like that continent deserves some real tender care and love and thought.
“Young Africans view me as a leader or a beacon. And I feel like I could bring something. So I’m keen to bring what I’ve learned in media and amplify it in Africa.”
The ‘Luther’ star continued: “I’m a fan of the Nigerian (film) industry. I’m a fan of the South African industry. Ghana has a very small industry. And I’m a fan of the content creators in Africa, especially West Africa.
“These kids that have these smartphones are making incredible content. And I feel like it’s overlooked. So I’m really a fan of trying to harness that and help that grow.”
‘Beast’ was filmed across South Africa and Idris explained that the setting was a vital part of the story, which sees Idris’ character Dr Nate Samuels and his daughters hunted by a lion whilst on safari.
He explained: “The environment is definitely a big character in the film, it’s part of why they’re isolated, how they get isolated. So it was really important that we went (there). Apart from the lion, everything was shot in those real locations.”
Locations included Cape Town, Limpopo and Northern Province. The final showdown was filmed in the Northern Cape, on the Namibia border. The ‘Beast’ producers sang SA’s praises after the filming. The film opened in South Africa on 12 August, and features some Venda spoken.