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Penguin SA

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Jongo: An International Superhero with an African Soul, Created and Co-directed by Gareth Crocker

The Last Road TripFrom the pen of Gareth Crocker comes “the world’s first mainstream African-based superhero” in a new television show – Jongo.

Johannesburg-based film and television studio Motion Story announced on Friday that production is underway – in fact, half of the first season has already been filmed.

Created and co-directed by Crocker, author of the recently released The Last Road Trip, Jongo tells the story on an unlikely hero set in the “New York” of Africa – Johannesburg.

“While Jongo will be sold as an international superhero series, we wanted the show to have a distinctly African soul. Moreover, we wanted to showcase the beauty and dynamism of the continent and of South Africa in particular. So many films and television shows focus on the problems Africans face. Jongo will emphasise all that is wonderful and positive about this great continent of ours,” Crocker says.

“Our vastly experienced production crew has worked in some 30 countries and our cast features diverse and exciting talent from across the continent. While we’re not yet ready to reveal the identity of our lead actors at the moment, we are extremely confident that many of these talented people will soon become household names.

“Unlike many other international superhero films and series, Jongo will focus on telling a very human story which will be amplified by impressive physical effects. We will not, however, overwhelm the show with superfluous computer-generated scenes. Jongo is, at its heart, a comedy drama. I can assure you that it won’t look like a glorified video game.”

Watch a trailer from the eight-episode series in which we meet Eli King, a young man who acquires supernatural abilities after an alien crystal is found in a cave at the Cradle of Humankind.

Watch the video:

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Press release:

SA studio announces the creation of Jongo – the world’s first mainstream African superhero TV show

A new Johannesburg-based film and television studio, Motion Story, has today announced the creation of Jongo, the world’s first mainstream African superhero television show.

Following several months of intense development, production has now commenced with half of the 8-episode first season already filmed. The remaining episodes will be completed by the end of the year.

Set in the “New York” of Africa

Shot primarily in Johannesburg on some of the world’s most advanced camera rigs, Jongo tells the story of a young man, Eli King, who acquires an array of supernatural abilities after an alien crystal is found in a cave at the Cradle of Humankind. The stone is left to him by his father, an enslaved miner who is murdered shortly after escaping from the cave. As Eli tries to deal with the death of his father and sets out to find the men responsible, he must also grapple with the powers of the crystal and how it will indelibly alter the course of his life. What Eli doesn’t know is that the men he is hunting have crystals of their own and need Eli’s stone to fulfil an ancient and devastating prophecy which will threaten the lives of millions.

Delving deeply into universal themes, Jongo will appeal to families across the globe. The title character, Eli King, is played by one of the world’s top hip-hop dancers and his dancing features prominently in the series.

International attention

Jongo has secured an Emmy Award-winning distributor in Amsterdam, FCCE, and already international broadcast offers have started to come in.

The team behind the show includes SA businessman and venture capitalist, Chris Lawrance, as Executive Producer supported by Phillip Wolmarans as Producer. Nick Keulemans is the Cinematographer and the show is co-directed by Fred Wolmarans and Gareth Crocker.

The series is written by Gareth Crocker who is a renowned screenwriter and international best-selling author. His works have sold more than a million copies in some 20 countries worldwide.

An African soul

“While Jongo will be sold as an international superhero series, we wanted the show to have a distinctly African soul. Moreover, we wanted to showcase the beauty and dynamism of the continent and of South Africa in particular. So many films and television shows focus on the problems Africans face. Jongo will emphasise all that is wonderful and positive about this great continent of ours,” Crocker says.

“Our vastly experienced production crew has worked in some 30 countries and our cast features diverse and exciting talent from across the continent. While we’re not yet ready to reveal the identity of our lead actors at the moment, we are extremely confident that many of these talented people will soon become household names.”

A different approach

“Unlike many other international superhero films and series, Jongo will focus on telling a very human story which will be amplified by impressive physical effects. We will not, however, overwhelm the show with superfluous computer-generated scenes. Jongo is, at its heart, a comedy drama. I can assure you that it won’t look like a glorified video game,” Crocker concludes.

“Finally, we would like to thank the Department of Trade and Industry for the wonderful support they have given to Jongo.”

Ends

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