A newly forged partnership between the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and the production team behind the upcoming film "Long Walk to Freedom" has led to the planned preservation of the film sets used in the film.
"Long Walk to Freedom" is based on the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, and is tipped to feature many realistic sets from specific periods in Mandela’s life. Once filming is complete, these sets will be transported to the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, where visitors will have a chance to see the sets up close and gain more insight into the time period.
The sets recreate the Courtroom of the Palace of Justice, Madiba’s Robben Island Cell, the Robben Island Visitors’ Centre and the interior of Madiba’s Orlando West home.
Several outdoor sets have also been created including the multi-level B Section of the Robben Island Prison and the prison courtyard and a section of the famous Vilakazi Street. The realistic sets were designed by Johnny Breedt, and were built by a vast team of local artists.
"The team working on Long Walk To Freedom have created historically significant places and objects, and we are delighted to share this with the public through the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and the Nelson Mandela Museum to ensure that our people can benefit from these creations in locations that are easily accessible," film producer Anant Singh said
"We are pleased that in addition to the film, we can further contribute to the preservation of Madiba's amazing history and legacy."
CEO of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory Achmat Dangor similarly believes that the sets will be a huge contribution to the centre, saying that they will "ensure an added dimension to our public outreach once the repurposed and refurbished Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory opens in mid-2013".
Dr P Dyantyi, chairperson of the content committee of the museum, says that the presence of the film sets will help tell Mandela’s story in a more visual manner.
"In addition, it will bring three important sites into one space in Qunu, which is geographically the fourth space," Dyantyi said.
"What makes us more excited as the Nelson Mandela Museum is that Videovision shares the same values and vision that we hold dear - that the story of President Mandela is bigger than any individual and that it must be shared with the rest of the world using all technologies available to us."
The film production also plans to support Mandela Day 2012, by participating in the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory container library project at the Aha Setjhaba School in Parys.
Singh and some of the film’s actors will be providing their support to this project by planning various activities throughout the day.
"Long Walk to Freedom" is currently shooting in Cape Town, the film is directed by Justin Chadwick ("The Other Boleyn Girl"). It stars Idris Elba ("Luther," "The Wire") as Nelson Mandela.