District 9 has supercharged African science fiction movies

There's a fascinating roundup in Variety of all the African science fiction films in development now, and the success of 2009's District 9 apparently has a lot to do with it.

Top image from Pumzi.

There's the movie version of Lauren Beukes' Zoo City, which we wrote about a while back. And meanwhile, the writer and director of the acclaimed short film Pumzi are involved in adapting Nnedi Okorafor's World Fantasy Award-winning Who Fears Death — which one producer describes as "Lord of the Rings in Africa."

But also, Kisha Cameron-Dingle, producer of Who Fears Death, is producing a movie called Tok Tokkie, along with South African producer David Horler. Tok Tokkie is a ghost story told from the POV of a ghost. Writer/director Jenna Bass graduated from Africa First and Story Camp, Focus Features' invitation-only laboratory and workshop for projects under $1 million. Bass' screenplay won the 2010 Durban FilmMart and the Hubert Bals Fund Award for the most promising African project. There's already funding to start filming, with more being looked for.

A fourth exciting-sounding project: Etienne Foure's The Windmill, about a windmill that pumps rejuvenating water — if you drink it, you regain your youth for a while, but with unexpected consequences. [Variety]