Thursday, September 02, 2004

Another feature filmed in Namibia

IT'S action time again in the sand dunes at the central coast where yet another movie is being made by an Academy Award nominee filmmaker.

Work on the feature film 'The Trail', which is co-written and directed by Eric Valli, started in June - about three months after the completion of the major Hollywood movie 'Flight of the Phoenix', starring Dennis Quaid.

Valli is the screenwriter and director of 'Himalaya', an Oscar-nominated picture for Best Foreign Film in 2000.

Calling Namibia one of the world's most exquisite filming locations, the movie's publicist MJ Magbanua said filming had been done throughout the country including Epupa Falls, the Skeleton Coast, Kamanjab, Lüderitz and lastly Walvis Bay.

The crew arrived at Swakopmund last week for the last part of the movie which will be shot until September 25.

With British actor Julian Sands as Gary in the lead role, 'The Trail' focuses on the relationship between a father and his daughter against the backdrop of the most remote and exotic locations in Namibia.

Sands has played a variety of roles in Hollywood movies including 'Room with a View', 'Naked Lunch', 'Warlock 1&2', 'Boxing Helena' and 'Leaving Las Vegas'.

His daughter called Grace is played by newcomer Camille Summers from France.

Another name movie lovers will recognise is that of Eriq Ebouaney who has starred in 'Lumumba', 'Sometimes in April', 'Kingdom of Heaven', 'San Antonio' and 'Cape of Good Hope'.

He plays the role of Kadjiro, a Himba guide.

The supporting cast is led by Clint Dyer as Tsuari.

The publicist told The Namibian that as many as 200 extras a day had been used at the Epupa Falls and Kamanjab locations.

Five street children from Lüderitz have also been cast with some of them in speaking roles.

She could not give an exact number, but said many Namibians had also been employed as casual labourers and crew members on the movie.

The crew totals about 150 people, with the majority from France and South Africa.

The storyline of 'The Trail' revolves around an absentee father, Gary (Julian Sands), who rediscovers his relationship with his daughter Grace (Camille Summers).

However, fate intervenes and separates them far too soon.

A storm brings down Gary's aircraft in the desert where he is captured by a gang of desperados - remnants of the Angolan war.

His survival depends on his skill as a geologist and desire to see his daughter again.

Imprisoned in the gang's hide-out in a ghost town, he is forced to help his captors mine diamonds.

Restless and desperate to find her father, Grace connects with Kadjiro (Eriq Ebouaney) - the Himba guide who was her childhood "spiritual" father and companion.
Rather than relying on modern technology, Grace allows herself to trust him to guide her to her father.

Magbanua said she could not reveal the budget of the movie, but added that it was a good size for a foreign film.

The entire movie is being filmed in Namibia.