The first European 3-D fiction film with real actors will be Spanish. The title of the film is Viaje Mágico a África (Magic Journey to Africa). It is directed by Jordi Llompart and has a budget of 10 million euros.
The film was shot in Namibia and South Africa and is a story full of adventure and love. It is dedicated to Jana the daughter of Llompart who was killed in a car accident in Namibia in 2007. The film is about the adventures of Jana who is searching for a friend who is a bushman.
Llompart (born in Barcelona, 1962) was previously a news presenter for TV. He moved into directing after being involved in the making of a documentary and in 2005 he made El Misterio del Nilo (the Mystery of the Nile), which was the first Spanish documentary made for IMAX cinemas. Still being screened in IMAX cinemas around the world it has been seen by 7 million people and has made over 30 million euros so far. Llompart who is fascinated by the African continent wrote a novel inspired by his daughter and following the success of the book Llompart began to think about adapting it to the cinema.
However, he stresses that it was more important for him to make a good film than to be the first European film director to make a film in 3-D.
Llompart then went on to use his prestige in the World of IMAX cinema to secure distribution agreements and to go ahead with his idea of adapting his novel to 3-D cinema. He says that 3-D will not save the cinema industry and that the public are tired of the same old clichés and the lack of surprises but that new audiovisual techniques and better scripts will help the future of cinema. In declarations published by El Pais today, Llompart said that not all stories can be made into 3-D films and that care needed to be taken when putting IMAX and 3-D together otherwise the audience would end up getting dizzy.
In the film Viaje mágico a África, Verónica Blume plays Jana and Llompart believes that this role will secure her future as an actress. Adrià Collado plays the parents of Jana and Leonor Watling has the role of a fairy. The children are played by children from Namibia who were hand picked and then trained by the director for 3 months before filming began in March 2008.
Llompart and his team filmed in Namibia for 8 weeks, in South Africa for 2 weeks and in Barcelona for 3 weeks. Now after 7 months of editing they are now working on the computer generated images for the film and recording the soundtrack. Viaje Mágico a África will be 90 minutes long in normal cinemas and the 3-D IMAX version will be 45 minutes long. It is due to be released on 6th January 2010.