Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Promoting South Africa internationally

Over that last few months Lenny has been making the most awesome contacts, and last week one of these people, Andrew Cerino pictured right, came and spent a night with us to talk about some exciting projects that he is involved in.

Andrew, who is Head of Production of the film company Panthera Productions in Dallas Texas, oversees a library of 12 awards winning wildlife films, thousands of images and stock footage (here are some samples). Since he and a partner started this venture in 1994, his passion for South Africa has developed to a point where he wants to make a difference here by creating projects that’ll promote S.A.’s talents to the rest of the world.

Andrew has been making films in South Africa for nearly fifteen years and have developed a real passion for this country, its people, and its music. He says that African music as a whole is not well known in the States, despite the popularity of dated album's like Paul Simon's "Graceland" featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and groups such as Johnny Clegg & Jaluka, and so he wants to change this.

Andrew is producing a feature-length documentary on South African music, as it’s his desire to have an international audience fall in love with South Africa and its musicians, and so we will be helping him find the right combination of artists and music to make this happen. He intends to bring the artists featured in the film to a new and broader audience worldwide, first through a theatrical release and then television – which we think will be awesome!

We are discussing a potential soundtrack album spun off from the film which would undoubtedly do very well, as was the case of the "Buena Vista Social Club", and with some of the contacts he has, such as with Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, and Bill Clinton among others; he really wants this to go far.

Just after he arrived at our offices (left - the girls working on a standard international greeting...), he wrote the following:

“I just arrived in Cape Town and am at the house of some fun, kooky people. This a couple that I met over the internet, having contacted them about a musician I was trying to reach. I started talking with this guy named Lenny who was very nice and very helpful. When I told him I was coming to South Africa, he insisted that I come and stay with him and his husband. Yes, his husband... and no, they are not gay. Lenny, it turns out, is a woman! hehe. Anyway, they run a record / performance company, and I am sitting in their house / office right now and it is a hoot... utter chaos. Two dogs, five cats, employees, and as near as I can tell- some sort of circus performer. Good times!”

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Sounds like great news for local acts :)
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