Strong Studios, Convergent Media, ForLan Films & M-Net/MultiChoice Africa Join Forces to Produce the New Six-Part Crime Drama Series, Endangered
News provided byStrong Global Entertainment
Sep 19, 2023, 9:15 AM ET
BAFTA Award-Winning Stuart Urban to Direct the Series Adapted from the Bestselling Novel by South African Crime Writer Rudie Van Rensburg
Set for a 2024 Production in South Africa, Series Explores Controversial Rhino Poaching, the Crime Syndicates That Control It and Police & Conservationists Trying to Stop It
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Strong Global Entertainment, Inc., (NYSE American: SGE) (“the Company”) today announced that its subsidiary Strong Studios, Inc. (“Strong Studios”) (Safehaven, Flagrant, Inside the Black Box), the Company’s original content production and distribution arm, will partner with Convergent Media, U.K.’s ForLan Films and M-Net/Multichoice Africa to produce the new crime drama series, Endangered. The project is based on one of a series of bestselling novels from the popular South African crime writer, Rudie Van Rensburg.
Two-time BAFTA award-winner Stuart Urban (The Mystery of Suzy Lamplugh, The Secret, May I Kill U?) will direct with screenwriter Jake Riddell (Reyka, Grantchester, London Kills, Death in Paradise) penning the six-part limited series.
Based on the novel, “Piranha,” by Van Rensburg, Endangered centers around Montgomery Smith, a wealthy Englishman-in-exile, who runs an illegal, corrupt, and dangerous syndicate smuggling Africa's White Gold, the endangered rhino horn, and the legendary veteran detective Captain Kassie Kasselman, who aggressively pursues Smith from the Cape ganglands to Kruger’s national parks to Pretoria, South Africa's bustling political capital. Kasselman must unravel the mystery and stop Smith’s syndicate of criminal gangs and poachers. Endangered is more than just a crime thriller: it's a snapshot of a country that has always lived by the mantra, "Adapt or Die.”
“While researching rhino poaching, I became increasingly aware of how serious of a problem it is. It’s a great honour to have such renowned filmmakers helming the production of Endangered, and I'm delighted that this issue will be brought to the attention of a wider audience,” says Van Rensburg.
With the expectation to begin production in early 2024 in South Africa, Endangered will be produced by ForLan Films’ Emmy Award-winning producer Steve Lanning (Empire Strikes Back, Gandhi & Kubrick's ‘God Fearing Man) and Jake Lanning (Pulse, In Deep, Trial & Retribution) and Advantage Entertainment’s Vlokkie Gordon (Black Sails, The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency), along with Strong Global Entertainment’s Chairman Kyle Cerminara; Strong Studios’ President David Ozer and EVP of production and development Scott Weinstock; Convergent Media’s Dan Reardon and Santosh Govindaraju; and M-Net’s Nicola van Niekerk, and Wikus du Toit. Strong Studios and Convergent Media will oversee global distribution, excluding Africa, which will be handled by M-Net/Multichoice Africa.
Strong Studios’ President David Ozer stated: “As we look to continue building our content pipeline to offer a broad range of entertainment, as well as expand into the international production arena, we are thrilled to collaborate with Convergent Media, ForLan Films, M-Net/Multichoice Africa, and Advantage Entertainment to bring Rudie’s compelling novel to life to deliver a series that shines a spotlight on the controversial rhino poaching trade. With Stuart’s vision and Jake’s dynamic screenplay, Endangered has all the facets lining up to produce a global binge-worthy hit!”
Convergent Media’s Dan Reardon commented: “Endangered is a double-barreled shotgun of a story. It’s a fast-moving thriller, yet grounded in important real-world issues, both of which will appeal to a broad range of international audiences.”
ForLan Films’ Steve Lanning and Jake Lanning jointly stated: “Rudie’s series of books immerses us not only in the rich and vibrant African culture, but also exposes the criminal elements that exploit Africa for their own benefit, which reaches far beyond Africa’s shores. We are so excited to be able to bring this story and its compelling characters to a worldwide audience.”
Multichoice Georginah Machiridza (Executive Head: General Entertainment for the Multichoice Group): “As Africa’s leading video and entertainment company we are committed to sharing our stories through world-class co-productions. Endangered represents a unique opportunity for Multichoice to support a project that not only promises gripping storytelling but also addresses a pressing global concern. It's a testament to the power of storytelling to make a positive impact, and we're excited to share it with our audience."
About Strong Global Entertainment, Inc.
Strong Global Entertainment, Inc. is a leader in the entertainment industry, providing mission critical products and services to cinema exhibitors and entertainment venues for over 90 years. The Company manufactures and distributes premium large format projection screens, provides comprehensive managed services, technical support and related products and services primarily to cinema exhibitors, theme parks, educational institutions, and similar venues. In addition to traditional projection screens, the Company manufactures and distributes its Eclipse curvilinear screens, which are specially designed for theme parks, immersive exhibitions, as well as simulation applications. It also provides maintenance, repair, installation, network support services and other services to cinema operators, primarily in the United States. The Company also owns Strong Studios, Inc., which develops and produces original feature films and television series.
About Strong Studios, Inc.
Strong Studios, headquartered in New York, NY, is a subsidiary of Strong Global Entertainment, Inc. Strong Studios develops and produces original feature films and television series, as well as acquires third party rights to content for global multi-platform distribution. The studio launched in March 2022 with the production of the supernatural thriller series Safehaven. Strong Studios is currently developing Flagrant, with Michael Rapaport, Shadows in the Vineyard, a limited true crime drama starring Judith Light and Noah Wyle, the drama series, Heartbeat, co-created by legendary DJ couple Kiss and M.O.S. and the feature film, The Tank Job.
About FG Group Holdings Inc.
FG Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE American: FGH) is a diversified holding company with operations and investments across a broad range of industries. The Company has a majority ownership in Strong Global Entertainment which includes STRONG/MDI Screen Systems (www.strongmdi.com), the leading premium screen and projection coatings supplier in the world and Strong Technical Services (https://strong-tech.com/), which provides comprehensive managed service offerings with 24/7/365 support nationwide to ensure solution uptime and availability. FG Group Holdings also holds equity stakes in GreenFirst Forest Products Inc., Firefly Systems, Inc., and FG Financial Group, Inc., as well as real estate through its Digital Ignition operating business.
About Fundamental Global®
Fundamental Global® is a private partnership focused on long-term strategic holdings. Fundamental Global® was co-founded by former T. Rowe Price, Point72 and Tiger Cub portfolio manager Kyle Cerminara and former Chairman and CEO of TD Ameritrade, Joe Moglia. Its current holdings include FG Financial Group Inc., FG Group Holdings Inc., BK Technologies Corp., GreenFirst Forest Products, Inc., iCoreConnect, Inc., FG Acquisition Corp., OppFi Inc., Hagerty Inc., and FG Communities, Inc. The FG® logo is a registered trademark of Fundamental Global®.
About Convergent Media
Convergent Media is a feature film & television investment & production company lead by Santosh Govindaraju and Dan Reardon, with its sole goal to provide remarkable and entertaining shows to the worldwide audience. Recent film projects include Maggie Moore(s) with Jon Hamm and Tina Fey, Meet Cute, starring Pete Davidson and Kaley Cuoco, The Hating Game with Lucy Hale and Austin Stowell, and The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish.
About ForLan Films
ForLan Films was established in May 2013 by four members of the Lanning family; Producers Steve Lanning, Jake Lanning, Ben Lanning & Cliff Lanning, to develop and produce high quality original projects for film and television.
About MultiChoice Group
MultiChoice Group (MCG), which listed in the Main Board of the JSE on 27 February 2019, is one of the fastest-growing video entertainment providers globally, delivering entertainment products and services to 23.5m households across 50 countries on the African continent. Its track record of more than 35 years is reflective of a commitment to provide audiences with only the best local, sport and international content.
MCG’s strong partnerships with distributors, installers and telecommunication companies, along with its well-established payment solutions, competitive pricing and choice of viewership packages continue to secure its place in the global market, while also providing solutions unique to the African market.
Its direct-to-home (DTH), digital terrestrial television (DTT) and over-the-top (OTT) solutions enable the business to stay relevant and aligned to changing consumer habits while capturing new markets.
Content is at the very core of the business. MCG aims to deliver quality content anywhere, anytime and on any device through a comprehensive video entertainment offering at different price points. As pioneers in African video entertainment, MCG plays an important role in making information and entertainment easily accessible to Africans.
MCG aims to secure content rights in a manner that is cost-effective and reflective of the diversity of its audiences. Its substantial portfolio includes award-winning local content (a key differentiator in its service offering), a leading sports offering (including production capabilities) and access to international content, which is all shared on the group’s platforms: DStv, GOtv, Showmax, M-Net and SuperSport.
MCG has superior technology capability through the security solutions that Irdeto, its technology company, brings to the group. These solutions enable MultiChoice to protect its investment, create new offerings and combat cybercrime. With more than 50 years’ expertise in software security, Irdeto’s software security solutions and cyber services protect over 6bn devices and applications for some of the world’s best brands.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “seek,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “aim,” “should,” “will,” “would,” or the negative of these words or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. For example, this press release is using forward-looking statements when it discusses the Strong Studios’ plan to begin discussions with potential media partners. Forward-looking statements are based on Strong Studios’ and the Company’s current expectations and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Further, certain forward-looking statements are based on assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in the section titled “Risk Factors” in the final prospectus related to the initial public offering of the Company filed with the SEC. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and Strong Studios and the Company undertake no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.
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