Johannesburg Film Productions

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Johannesburg Film Productions (Johannesburg Filmproduksies) was a production company that operated for approximately 10 years. The studio was situated behind a carpentry shop in Doornfontein and was launched by Hans Kaniuk, a Berlin-born electrical engineer who had had some theatre and film experience in Germany before Hitler came to power. In January 1955 he announced that he had sold his business to a separate company to be called H. Kaniuk (Pty) Ltd and that from 1st March he would have no further connection with the firm.

He then teamed up with cameraman Judex C. Viljoen and the two produced their first film, a now forgotten short called South African Miscellany. This was followed by the feature Satanskoraal, a co-production with Jamie Uys, on which Kaniuk acted as executive producer. There were to be no other major productions, though the company provided technical services for Die Reën Kom Weer (Pierre D. Botha/1963) and The Foster Gang (Percival Rubens/1964). The firm also produced a number of advertising films, at least one of which, made for a Swiss watch manufacturer, achieved international success. A projected 1961 film to be called Diamonds Are Trumps, with Nicky Caras in the cast and directed by Peter Henkel, failed to materialise, as did a feature written by James Ambrose Brown, using an “all-Native” cast. The company was a member of the local Motion Picture Production Association.


Rand Daily Mail, 21 January 1955

Rand Daily Mail, 15 February 1958

Sunday Times, 5 February 1961

Sunday Times, 23 July 1961

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