Announced at DISCOP AFRICA 2015 (the bi-annual pan-African film and television marketplace), “Jongo,” a new superhero TV series from Johannesburg-based film and television studio, Motion Story, was picked up for distribution by Discover Digital, South African network e.tv and Ebony Life TV, to be distribution partners for the series, starting in 2016.
An 8-episode first season, shot primarily in Johannesburg, “Jongo” tells the story of a young man, Eli King, who acquires an array of supernatural abilities after he finds an alien crystal in a cave at the “Cradle of Humankind.” 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.
Locally hailed as a game changer for continental African TV content, “Jongo” stars Pacou Mutombo, a dancer/actor. He is joined by Katlego Baaitse, who play Eli’s best friend Kay, Pauline Zwane as Eli’s girlfriend Maya, and Luthuli Dlamini as Noah, the head of an agency that protects the planet from alien activity.
Speaking to Screen Africa, writer and director of “Jongo,” Gareth Crocker, said: “We wanted to showcase the beauty and dynamism of the continent and of South Africa in particular. So many films and TV shows focus on the problems Africans face. Jongo will emphasise all that is positive about this great continent of ours. We knew from the outset that we wanted to do something quite different from the other shows currently on air in this genre… We wanted to ensure authenticity – to produce something that people can connect with… In casting, we specifically sought out people who are closely aligned to the characters we’ve written.”
Discover Digital’s Stephen Watson added: “It’s an original and uniquely African concept that has excellent production values.”
The series is executive produced by Chris Lawrance, and produced by Phillip Wolmarans. Fred Wolmarans co-directed along with Crocker.
DISCOP AFRICA takes place next in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire (May 31 – June 2, 2016). With pay-tv revenues expected to surge, a growing middle classes, a booming advertising marketplace and improving infrastructures, television content business in continental Africa is worth close to a reported $1 billion in annual revenues, twice as much as three years ago. DISCOP AFRICA plays host to independent producers, regional and global distributors, and broadcasters, pay-tv, mobile operators and alternative distribution platforms driving the growth of Africa’s multiscreen and televised entertainment industry.
Watch the trailer for “Jongo” below. No word yet on whether it’ll be available in the USA eventually, given that it has no USA distributor: