Netflix and Cinemax go to South Africa for real

By Mike Hale

On Netflix, a steamy high school romance with strong suggestions of “Gossip Girl.” On Cinemax, a steamy international thriller with harried spies and a strong, silent hero.

Both concepts are typical for those providers, though in each case your eyes are drawn to something uncommon: Cape Town’s Table Mountain, looming in the background whenever the cinematographers can find a way to get it in the frame.

South Africa has been growing as a hub for film and television production for years, part of an international circuit that includes Vancouver and Toronto, London, Berlin, New Zealand and huge new studios in China. Cinemax is a regular in South Africa, having filmed seasons of the action thrillers “Strike Back” and “Warrior” there. Now comes “Trackers,” a complicated six-episode story involving diamonds, terrorism (maybe) and redemption that’s playing weekly on Fridays.

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