The local, animated version of Jock of the Bushveld has a list of credits including Tim Rice, Johnny Clegg and Desmond Tutu.

South Africa's 3D animated movie Jock of the Bushveld has been signed to Visio Entertainment, a Hollywood-based marketing and distribution company created to support the independent film industry. The film is expected to debut in the US and Europe later this year.

Local producer Duncan MacNeillie, who recently returned from a visit to Los Angeles where he took the film to be viewed by international distributors, says: "We have always believed that this production had the potential to be an international success, but couldn¹t test that potential until we had a product as close to complete as possible."

MacNeillie reports that the US distribution company was very enthusiastic about the film. Visio Entertainment did however request that a change be made to the narrative for the purposes of appealing to a global audience. This may mean that an additional big names will join the voiceover cast.

Visio Entertainment's Dennis Rice, now executive producer on the Jock movie, was one of the chief architects in 2006 for campaigns that delivered the largest summer in Disney¹s history. The films that Rice worked on were Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar's Cars which opened to $60 million and earned over $240-million in domestic box office and Disney¹s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man¹s Chest from producer Jerry Bruckheimer which had a record setting $135-million opening weekend and went on to exceed over $1-billion in world wide box office making it the biggest grossing motion picture in Disney¹s history.

In 2007, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner recruited Rice to team up with them to restart the legendary United Artists label as president of Worldwide Marketing and Publicity and in 2008 he started Visio Entertainment.

Watch the official Jock of the Bushveld trailer:

MacNeillie says they would have liked to release the movie in SA first, keeping to the original release date in late March. This will not be viable because the threat of piracy is greatly increased if the SA and US release dates are too far apart, and the first feasible release window in the States will be in the third quarter of this year.

Jock Marketing director Andy Rice says: "We have had fantastic support from SA marketers in terms of taking out licenses and almost without exception they have welcomed a brand that will be stronger and will reach a global audience, even if it means waiting for it a little longer."

Merchandising partner Edgars was one of the first SA brands to align itself with Jock. Edgars specialist buyer Alcora du PLessis, says: "Edgars is proud to be associated with the movie; the story forms part of our South African heritage and is one we can all relate to. As a leading South African retailer we support local initiatives and by making T-shirts available in selected Edgars stores we hope to make the legend of Jock live on in people's hearts."

The latest partner to sign up is FNB and their new head of media, Bernice Samuels, says: "Jock is a quintessentially South African story and FNB is a quintessentially South African bank. As an enthusiastically South African brand, and one that celebrates and drives innovation, we are enormously proud to associated with the film. It is truly stand-out quality."

The movie recently secured internationally acclaimed artists Bryan Adams as the voice of Jock and also has an A-list of local artists involved.

The professional actors are joined by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, cast appropriately in a cameo role as the voice of the spiritual leader.

The internationally acclaimed Sir Tim Rice, who has contributed lyrics to Aladdin, The Lion King and Evita, is the lyricist for the film and other contributors to the music include Johnny Clegg, Nianell, Craig Hinds of the band Watershed, and Marius Brouwer, who has produced many local hits.

Jock's marketing team is headed by South African marketing expert Andy Rice, who is the brother of the internationally recognised Sir Tim Rice, but neither are related to the third Rice to join the team, Dennis Rice.

Source: ScreenAfrica