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The Professionals, Africa's biggest co-production shooting in SA

24/07/2019

24 July, 2019 - 08:03

Africas biggest co-production to date, with a combined budget of 27 million US dollars, is currently shooting in and around Johannesburg with Hollywood A-list talent.

The Professionals, a television action series depicting the high risk lives of Private Military Contractors (PMCs) is an Official Ireland - Republic of South Africa Co-Production with primary locations in South Africa and Ireland. Financing for the series has been arranged by the IDC, Cofiloisirs with the support of IFCIC, Aperture Media, Tele Munchen Group, and Viaplay.

South African funding has played a major role with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) making the single largest investment and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) preapproving the rebate application.

Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), Tom Welling (Smallville), Elena Anaya (Wonderwoman) and Said Taghmaoui (American Hustle) are set to star in this new action adventure series supported by Ken Duken (Inglorious Basterds), Lisa Loven Kongsli (Force Majeure) , August Wittgenstein (Das Boot) as well as local artists Stevel Marc (Of Good Report), Tanya van Graan (Zulu), Kai Luke Brummer (Origins), and Nic Rasenti (Outlander), who will be season regulars. A host of other South African actors will also enjoy the privilege of participating alongside these stars and international exposure when the series sells worldwide. Of note is newcomer Jazzara Jaslyn who made a strong impression with the sales agent Telemunchen.

The series also boasts a strong contingent of black South Africans both behind and in front of the camera with an equally strong female and black female contingent, making this one of the most diverse contemporary television shows to emerge from post apartheid South Africa. Of note is director Thabang Moleya (Happiness is a Four Letter Word, Jacobs Cross) who will be making his mark in international television directing 2 key episodes of The Professionals. Spier Films (uCarmen eKhayelitsha, The Salvation, Of Good Report, An Act of Defiance, The Harvesters), led by its directors Micheal Auret and Dr. Lwazi Manzi, is the South African co-producing company in the first high budget television series to be shot under the auspices of the South Africa/ Ireland co-production treaty.

Says Executive Producer Michael Mike Auret: We are extremely proud to demonstrate the strength of co-production and the promises that it brings to the South African film industry and our economy at large. I would like to thank my colleagues Jeff Most of Most Media in the US and Latvia and Tristan Orpen Lynch of Subotica in Ireland for believing in this model and in the ability of the South African jurisdiction to deliver on its mandates. Most of all, we thank the Industrial Development Corporation and Department of Trade and Industry for their unwavering commitment to the project as a tool for job creation, attracting Foreign Direct Investment and fostering good international relations through cultural diplomacy.

Dr. Lwazi Manzi, producer of The Professionals adds It is particularly gratifying to walk on set and see a diverse representation both in front of and behind the camera. To see our stars holding their own with international stars, and to be able to do what any other big studio does is an exciting leapfrogging exercise that I can assure my colleagues can be undertaken by anyone who has the ambition and grit to survive it. I truly hope that what we are doing here will embolden others to do the same.

Principal photography started in Dublin on 26 May 2019 and the South African leg began 3 June 2019

TM International to handle worldwide sales

Anchor broadcaster Viaplay to distribute the series in Scandinavia

RTL II pre-bought free-tv rights for German speaking Europe

Los Angeles (USA)/Munich (Germany), May, 31, 2019 - Brendan Fraser (Trust, The Mummy, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, School Ties), Tom Welling (Smallville, Cheaper by the dozen,

Parkland), Elena Anaya (Wonder Womans Dr. Poison, The Skin I live In, MotherFatherSon), Said Taghmaoui (John Wick 3, Wonder Woman, American Hustle), Ken Duken (Inglourious Basterds, Counterpart), Lisa Loven Kongsli (Force Majeure, Wonder Woman, Ashes in the Snow) and August Wittgenstein (Das Boot, Hidden) have been cast in the new English-language action series THE PROFESSIONALS, which started principal photography on the 10-episode first season this week for anchor broadcaster Viaplay in Scandinavia. Tele Munchen Group is handling worldwide sales via its subsidiary TM International. Both companies are part of the new company led by Fred Kogel, which will emerge from Tele Munchen Group (TMG), Universum Film, i&u TV and Wiedemann & Berg Film. TM International will present the one-hour series at this years Mipcom. Germanys nationwide TV channel RTL II has pre-bought the free-TV rights.

Set against a backdrop of international espionage and corporate sabotage in the 21st centurys privately- funded space race, THE PROFESSIONALS stars Tom Welling as a hardened former counterintelligence officer, Captain Vincent Corbo. After their advanced medical satellite explodes on deployment, billionaire futurist Peter Swann,Brendan Fraser, and his fiancee, medical visionary Dr. Graciela Grace Davila, Elena Anaya, turn to Corbo. Corbo assembles a team of experienced professionals to investigate the incident. They learn that any combination of Swanns business rivals, corrupt governments officials, and a shadowy crime syndicate could be behind the attack and represent a continued threat. Ken Duken plays a Europol agent seeking to thwart the security teams efforts.

The first three episodes will be directed by Bharat Nalluri (MI-5 aka Spooks: The Greater Good; The Man Who Invented Christmas). The series was created by Jeff Most(The Crow, The Specialist) and is loosely based on Roadside Attractions feature film release Soldiers o
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