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Movie of the Week

‘Gran Turismo’ movie: A new hope for F1 fans

The big movie of the month was inspired by a PlayStation game – and directed by a South African, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

The movie based on a Sony PlayStation game has finally arrived – and it’s a great opportunity not only to see Formula 1 cars in a different kind of action, but also to see another creation by an acclaimed South African director.

Gran Turismo was directed by Neill Blomkamp, now living in Canada, who is best-known for co-writing and directing District 9, a science fiction movie set in Johannesburg. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also directed Chappie, starring South African alternative hip-hop group Die Antwoord, and the dystopian science fiction action film Elysium, which received moderately positive reviews.

The Sony Pictures movie is based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, who won the Nissan Gran Turismo Academy competition in 2011 and went on to become a professional race car driver. In the movie, Nissan is Jann’s sponsor, and he drives a Nissan GT-R in the Gran Turismo World Finals. Mardenborough was only 19 he participated in the GT Academy contest and beat 90,000 other entrants. He became the third and youngest winner of the competition, and was awarded a drive with Nissan at the Dubai 24 Hour race.

The Gran Turismo movie is a great example of how a video game can inspire real-world events. The Nissan GT Academy competition was created to give gamers the chance to become professional race car drivers, and Mardenborough is just one of many gamers who have gone on to successful racing careers thanks to the competition.

Gran Turismo stars Archie Madekwe as the young gamer, Jann, a struggling working-class kid who lives in a trailer park with his father. He is passionate about racing, but has no money to pursue his dream – and has to battle the skepticism of those around him. But then he wins a contest to compete in a GT tournament, with the chance of going on to race in Formula 1.

It’s a heartwarming story about following your dreams and never giving up on your goals. It is also a visually stunning film that features amazing car races. And it fills audiences with hope.

The screenplay was written by Jason Hall and Zach Baylin. The cast includes David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, and Djimon Hounsou.

Gran Turismo is also an example of how video games, the film industry, and the automotive industry can work together to create compelling stories and promote their respective products.

Two automotive brands with a close affinity to technology play a key role in the movie: Nissan and Michelin. Nissan is a major sponsor of the movie, and its cars are featured prominently. Michelin, the leading tire manufacturer, also plays a crucial role.

In addition to being featured in the film, Michelin worked closely with the production team to ensure that its tires were portrayed accurately. The company provided technical advice and support, and  helped develop the special effects used to create the tire smoke and skid marks seen in the movie.

The partnership between Michelin and the Gran Turismo movie is a great example of how a company can use film to promote its products and its brand. Michelin is a leader in the automotive industry, and its tires are used by some of the world’s top race car drivers. It’s not hard to see why it partnered with the movie: it was an opportunity to reach a new audience of potential customers.

In one scene, Jann is racing in the rain. His opponents are using different brands of tires, while he is using Michelin, which provide the grip he needs to stay on the track. It highlights how Michelin tires are designed to provide superior grip and performance in all weather conditions.

Mirko Pirracchio, Michelin Motorsport tyre advisor and operations manager, coordinated and followed all operations during the filming of the movie on several circuits between Central Europe and the Middle East.

“The partnership between Sony and Michelin required the same responsiveness we have for the various motor racing championships that Michelin supplies around the world,” he says. “We equipped around forty racing cars with specific competition tyres and also tyres from the Michelin Pilot Sport range for high-performance GT cars. Michelin tyres played their role of ‘active player’ to the full, ensuring performance and safety on both circuits and roads.”

* For more information on the role played by Michelin the movie, visit:

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