South Africa makes the African movie industry proud

South Africans can glow with pride now as another original film has struck gold with Netflix. Santana, a movie written, filmed and edited in Cape Town has recently reached number one worldwide on the streaming platform.
The film was written, directed, and produced by South African Chris Roland and Maradona Dias Dos Santos from Angola. It premiered on Netflix on Friday, August 28 and reached the top spot worldwide on Sunday, August 30.


In a Facebook post, director Chris Roland thanked everyone who had supported the film.


“#1 – Really did not see this coming. SANTANA just moved into #1 worldwide on Netflix today. Wow, so very grateful – thanks to everyone who is supporting the film,” he wrote.


The high energy action film follows law enforcement brothers Dias and Matias as they chase down Ferreira, one of Africa’s most notorious drug lords. As they get closer to Ferreira, the brothers discover he is the same man that murdered their parents thirty-five years ago. But Ferreira has fled from Angola to South Africa, and to get to him Dias and Matias must break the laws they were sworn to protect.
Santana had a 100% South African crew for the Cape Town-based shoots and the 78-person cast was a mix of South African and Angolan actors. The crew spent 27 days filming all around the Mother City, from Constantia and Woodstock to Paarden Eiland, and Gugulethu to the West Coast. They then continued filming in Luanda, Angola.

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Chris Roland is an award-winning American producer, director, and writer living and working in Cape Town, South Africa. Chris owns My Movies, a sales and distribution company, and previously owned ZenHQ Films and The Imaginarium, both leading production companies, and the South Africa Film Finance Corporation (production financing), and Basecamp Logistics (unit equipment rentals). As a consultant, Chris provides a wealth of experience that helps turn challenges into opportunities and ideas and dreams into realities.


Chris has recently shifted away from producing and has turned his attention to writing (10 current screenplays available), directing, consulting, and inspiring others, which began with the launch of his book, It’s Not Personal – Letting Go and Gaining an Island. The inspirational and often funny story revolves around Chris’ last film and the spiritual journey that kept him from losing his mind.

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Maradona Dias Dos Santos was born in Angola on 14 April 1982. Dos Santos’ father was communications specialist in the Angolan military and a veteran of the Civil War. In 1984 the family moved to London England and Dias Dos Santos now considers himself a proud British, Angolan.


He was accepted at the Central Film School in London to study all aspects of film making. It was here that he wrote and directed his first short film, Gambling Love. The results impressed his tutors so much that he was offered a full scholarship. However, Dias Dos Santos chose to discontinue his studies in order to start making films. In 2011, Dias Dos Santos began the lengthy process of setting up Giant Sables Media in Angola. At the same time, he began developing ideas for a film script. One of these ideas was an outline for a crime thriller, whose protagonist was a hard-bitten Angolan policeman named Dias Santana.

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At present, Santana is the first ever Angolan and South-African co-production, paving the way for a rejuvenated African film industry. This Iconic film is the first Angolan film on Netflix and the second from a Portuguese speaking country in Africa.
Dias Dos Santos hopes that through his films, he will change perceptions of Angola as a country, destroyed by war, creating an environment where the younger generation share his optimism, positivity and belief that, no matter where you start in life, anything is possible.

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