Los Angeles based Hoplite Entertainment, has officially opened an office in Johannesburg South Africa bringing its growing TV production business into the region.
Emmy award winning Hoplite has successfully produced over 200 hours of original unscripted/factual content along with successful formats currently moving through Asia. The company has been in talks with South African based and majority black owned AAA Entertainment for the past three years about coming into the region.
AAA Entertainment has been predominantly active in the scripted space, as well as the sales and distribution of African content, locally and internationally. The co-founders of AAA Entertainment and now shareholding partners at Hoplite Entertainment, Mayenzeke Baza and Pascal Schmitz, combined have 23 years of producing experience in the region and were looking for an opportunity to move into the global unscripted television space.
“This new branch allows us to continue to not only grow, but find stories focusing on unique characters globally” stated Jon Smith, the CEO from Hoplite Los Angeles. The company will be bringing 2-4 shows a year into the region shooting both localised as well as global versions of each show, with its first series coming into the country first quarter of 2017. The acting CCO Jonathan Perkins added, “A partnership in South Africa allows us to bring more great stories to life, as well as significantly reduce the input cost of some of these shows, through South Africa’s favourable exchange rate .”
Hoplite South Africa’s founders Mayenzeke Baza and Pascal Schmitz are really excited about bringing the company’s expertise and global distribution into the local market. “The strength we now have with combined investment, both locally and abroad, will allow us to stimulate the local television industry while creating new exciting content from Africa designed for a global market place” they went on to say.
Hoplite recently expanded opening a studio in Athens, Georgia. Kicking off the new studio with the productions of a crime series Charged & Disbarred distributed by Escapade Media, along with a home restoration series Master of Disaster, distributed by Looking Glass International. With the new expansion into South Africa, the company continues to show steady growth.
The South African branch has signed a co-production and talent deal with actress, presenter and producer “Khanyi Mbau”, packaging several localised shows around her already successful brand. Plans are in place to produce the first Hoplite TV series on the continent in the upcoming months, that will see Khanyi on the red carpet at major events like the Oscars interviewing celebrities for the show. "As a South African, it's always been my dream to bridge the gap between Africa and the world and become a global citizen. My goal has always been to become the portal to the world for South Africa. Hoplite Entertainment have made my dream come true by making this possible.", Khanyi Mbau