Q&A Brandi Alyssa Young – The Dark One

Film and television distribution stands on a precipice, with the widespread adaptation of the Internet, and the increasing speed of broadband connections. You have DStv Catch-Up and BoxOffice, viewable via your PC or iPad, NetFlix overseas, and not forgetting the ubiquitous YouTube.

One of an ever growing number of stars, Zachery Quinto (seen lately as the new Spock in Star Trek) embraces this medium, engaging with fellow film-makers, and fans alike, promoting and distributing his short films online. Julia Stiles stars in the title role of Blue, also available online, and the latest series in the zombie craze, The Walking Dead, augments their pre-season marketing with short webisodes, filling in some gaps to the on-screen world they live in.

SAMDB had the chance to hold a Q&A with a young, emerging star in the USA, Brandi Alyssa Young, who’s film web presence in The Dark One has garnered attention online and at the various comic and horror cons.

Brandi Alyssa YoungBrandi has been acting, singing, and dancing since she was 6 years old. She took part in community plays at first, but found her way to the screen. She has been in a total of 14 IMDb credited films and many plays, and numerous other films. She was nominated for Young Artist Awards two years in a row for her work as the autistic Jenny Hastert in the short film Broken Pieces which she did at age 13 and as young witch Michelle Smith in the webseries The Dark One which she did at age 14. Brandi got her SAG Eligibility from The Dark One in May 2012. Since then, she has done many audio plays and is slowly poking her way into the Con scene with fellow The Dark One stars. She resides in South Carolina and has graduated at the age of 15. Brandi has also written a total of 7 films, beginning in 2010. Her second short film, Tiger Lili, about domestic violence, made it into 5 script festivals, and the final round of 2 of those.

Q&A With Brandi Alyssa Young

You started acting at a very young age. How did you juggle school, acting and childhood?

Well it was sort of difficult. Haha, I was bullied in elementary school badly and no one liked me. Add being an actress into the mix and I was practically getting beat up every day. I was a normal kid. I had friends, I played video games (Galaga and Ms. Packman were my favorite), I fooled around outside all the time. Then I was introduced to Tim Burton and I became a total weirdo (well, more so than I already was. I drew pictures of zombies and dead people when I was like 5). I just let my freak flag fly high starting when I was 10 and then I really started to get more work because I knew exactly what I wanted and I was comfortable with my oddness. That actually gained me more friends.

How important was parental support for you in pursuing your dream?

It was, and still is, extremely important. My dad provides the money for me to do it all and my mom takes me wherever I need to go. If I didn’t have them, or their support, then I wouldn’t be doing what I love to do.

As part of this, you were home-schooled, graduating at age 15, allowing you the flexibility to be on-set when needed. Share a little of this experience; did this make schooling easier? Did you cover any aspects specific to your film career?

I started homeschooling at the age of 8. The bullying in public school was too much and the teachers weren’t letting me act. It did make schooling easier, though, being homeschooled. I could move faster in my schooling and get everything dine as fast as I could instead of being held back, like in public school. My mother was my teacher, and sometimes it was difficult and we got into arguments, but it was good for me in the long run.
We did cover aspects of my film career, seeing as my acting was an elective (needless to say, I passed with flying colors, haha).

You start shooting season 2 of The Dark One soon, where you again play the young witch Michelle. Tell us, who is Michelle? How do you relate to her as a character, and how did you go about developing what we see on-screen?

Yes! Actually, filming of season 2 began back in March of this year.
She’s the last known pureblooded witch on the planet, she’s an orphan, and she’s got the most dangerous being on planet earth chasing her down so he can feed on her soul. On top of that, she’s 17 (in season 1), so she’s at that stage in life where she thinks she’s all tough and wants to prove herself, so that can be a bit dangerous. She’s got a very fiery temper that she can’t quite control, as well as a strange connection to The Dark One himself.
Michelle is actually a lot like myself. Other than the fact that I’m not a witch, we’re exactly alike. That actually makes it quite difficult to play her. I really only added a few little character ticks and such. For example, I’m right handed, but Michelle is ambidextrous. I’m a method actress, so once I’m in character, I stay there, so I didn’t even realize that until I saw the finished product and noticed that Michelle holds her wand in her right AND left hands. Little things like that set her apart from myself and make us different beings.

The cast and crew of The Dark One, have taken it to various ‘cons’. What exactly are these ‘cons’, and how does this help the series?

The cons are like miniature ComicCons and such. There’s a film festival, tons of panels, sometimes celebrities are there (at the Mad Monster Party, Danny Glover was there, Gary Busey, Jake Busey, Bruce Campbell, Kane Hodder, Addy Miller, Lita Ford, Tyler Mane), and 13th Floor EFX (the company that made The Dark One) interviews them and makes friends as well as connections in the industry, so The Dark One can get more popular. Plus a ton of normal people are there and we build up our fan base that way too. The fact that I was nominated for a Young Artist Award for the role also helps to build up the fanbase.

Acting isn’t your only forte; you list singing, dancing and screenwriting amungst your merits. Do you find you draw from the numerous disciplines when on-screen, and conversly, do you draw from the acting, singing and dancing when you write?

I try to do so, on screen. I try to make my voice clear and my movements fluid, which is where the singing and dancing come in. On set of The Dark One, John Dondero ( the director, writer, and actor) tends to let the actors and actresses improv, so I bring the writing into there, so I can come up with something decent to say, haha.
As for if I bring the acting, singing, and dancing into my screenplays, well….I don’t really. When I get an idea, I just write. I don’t really worry about bringing anything into the script unless it would work with the story.

What are your preferred acting and writing genres?

Hmmm…that’s a toughy. I can act and write just about anything. Well…I can’t write mushy gushy romance. That’s one thing I just can’t do. Twisted, disturbed romance? Yes. Mushy gushy stuff? Noooo. As for my preferred genres, I don’t know. For acting, my favorites are drama, scifi, suspense, etc. The really heavy stuff. For writing, I guess it’s he same. Really dark, really heavy.

How difficult was the process of becoming Jenny, the autistic girl, in Broken Pieces?

It was really nerve wracking. Not necessarily difficult. Just nerve wracking. I only had six hours to prepare, and I did so by watching clips of Rain Man. I felt like I had the whole film on my shoulders, because my character was the most essential one and I didn’t want to screw it up, especially since we only had 48 hours to get it done. In the end, I won Best Acting at the Greensboro NC 48 Hour Film Festival (the film won Best Use if Prop, Best Directing, and Best Film) and earned a Young Artist Award nomination for the role, so I guess I did something right, haha.

The Silver Key is a short film fantasy, set during the American civil war. What inspired you to combine these two genres?

Well, I had always loved witchcraft and the Civil War always fascinated me, so I wanted to explore what it would be like, what would happen, if there were two young witches during the Civil War, in the Bible Belt, that had to go to an alternate dimension to fight in its own Civil War, because they have the power to win the war there and stop the war here. I wrote that when I was 12 and filmed it when I was 13. The film stops before any if the war is shown, or explained for that matter, because we didn’t have the budget, but I’m currently writing the feature version of it, just it get the ideas out.

As an actress, what would your ideal role be? And as a writer, your ideal screenplay?

My ideal role would have to be something like Angelina Jolie in Salt or Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil. Totally kickbutt and awesome like that. I have always wanted to play a spy or a zombie killer (I played one in Two Rounds, but she was a bit of a flake, haha). Maybe a kickbutt zombie killing spy witch. Or at least a telekinetic. Wow….I’m getting script ideas. Haha
My ideal screenplay….well I cannot say. Since I just randomly get ideas, I can’t say what my ideal screenplay would be. I usually just write it all down without a care in the world, THEN see if I like it. So…we’ll just have to wait and see, now won’t we? Hehe

What’s next for you, and where do we go to see more?

What’s next for me is MonsterCon. It’s in Greenville, SC on July 26th-28th. Season 2 of The Dark One is premiering there on the 27th, so I’m very excited. Other than that, I wrap up Season 2 filming in August, then there are a few films that I’m going to be a part of. At least 6, I believe. I just finished my third Greensboro 48 Hour Film. It’s called Delilah and can be found on YouTube under the channel TrackGeeks. It’s going to the Best Of ceremony on July 19th.


The Dark One

Brandi Alyssa Young - The Dark OneThe webseries The Dark One came around originally as a special effects test for John Dondero to show off his editing skills, but then people liked it. So what was at first a short film got chopped up into a webseries and put online. It made quite a splash at cons such as RoundCon, MaruCon, and the Mad Monster Party and the fans demanded a second season. Season 2 is now in production and the first episode has its world premier at MonsterCon in Greenville, South Carolina on 27th July 2013 before it goes live on YouTube on 29th July 2013 at 7pm.

Season One Synopsis

A dark wizard by the name of Syris hunts down the last known pure blood wizard, Michelle, to feed on her soul and gain her power. Along with his brainwashed minions, Bella and Brick, he strikes down everyone in his path unmercifully. Can Alex, a fellow magical apprentice and Michelle’s only living protector, save Michelle from this soul hungry mad man?

The Dark One Team

John Dondero (Syris)

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1983, John grew up an imaginative and creative boy. He soon developed a love of film and literature. At a young age he began writing short stories which later developed into short films. John soon got his start in media when he became a photographer for local websites, and magazines, which is where his love of special effects began. He went from editing photos to full length movies, and has never looked back. Before jumping into the film business, John often did make-up and acted in local haunted houses. Some of his more known roles were Freddy Krueger and The Joker. Outside of those amazing characters, his most notable role to date is the ruthless and downright vile dark wizard, Syris in the webseries The Dark One, which he also wrote and directed.

Taylor-Grace Davis

Taylor-Grace began acting at the age of 8 in rural Western North Carolina, on her family farm. Growing up on a cattle farm, her favourite past-time as a young child was to perform in front of her animals. As her passion for performing grew, so did her experience. By the age of 14 she had developed an extensive resume with over 32 combined credits in film, television, voiceover and theatre. Taylor-Grace has the ability to bring a wide range of emotions to her work as well as a sense of “realness”. As a young teen actor, she has the maturity and a natural ability to handle dramatic roles. In 2013 she was awarded the Best Breakout Performance Award at the prestigious First Glance Film Festival in Hollywood for her role of Rebekka and Madison in the award winning short film The Box.

Darren Conrad

Born in Gastonia, North Carolina, Darren was a natural when it came to musical and stage works. Competing in numerous talent shows as a drummer and piano player from early childhood through college. Darren graduated from Hunter Huss High School in 1986 and lived around the corner from the now famous Fred Durst. Darren’s uncle is Wade Walker, who was an “All American” in College Football and later became the Athletic Director for the Oaklahoma Sooners during Barry Switzers days prior to becoming an NFL Coach. Though very good in Athletics, Darren became a fan of the stage and studied Theatre and Drama in college. After the death of his father in 1989, Darren persued his other passion, to become a protector of the public. Darren worked on the set of several movies filmed in Winston-Salem as Police Security, where he met actor Dan Biggers in Covington, Georgia during the “In the Heat of the Night” years. Dan gave Darren much encouragement in his dream of becoming an actor. Darren has since portrayed law enforcement characters in films, something that comes as second nature to him. With his tall, athletic frame and dark hair, he has a natural ability to bring a character to life. Darren has been a part numerous news interviews and stories about the daily operations of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol in Charlotte, N.C. He took a step into character acting with the role of mindlessly stupid dark wizard, Brick, in The Dark One.

Jay Parks

Jay is a North Carolina native and father of two children. He first appeared on the acting scene in John Dondero’s first production, The Mill, alongside Taylor-Grace Davis. He was later cast as Alex, Michelle’s only living protector, in the webseries, The Dark One.

Disney Junior Launches Brand New Animated Series – Henry Hugglemonster

Disney Junior

Henry Hugglemonster, Disney Junior (DStv Channel 309)’s brand new original 3D animation for preschoolers, will premiere on the channel on Saturday 3 August at 08:35. The series follows the adventures of fun-loving, five-year-old Henry Hugglemonster, the middle child in a happy, close-knit monster family – The Hugglemonsters of Roarsville.

Henry Hugglemonster

Henry Hugglemonster is a preschoolers’ ‘guide to life’ monster-style. Each eleven minute episode transports preschoolers through the ups and downs of Henry’s life as part of a loving, bustling monster family. Enthusiastic Henry talks directly to viewers, sharing his thoughts and feelings as well as the lessons he learns – from saving the monster kids’ Halloween piñata to helping his sister, Summer, realise that her voice is lovely just the way it is!

Henry’s exuberant family are laid back, inventor, big brother Cobby, loving parents Daddo and Momma, extrovert, slightly-older sister Summer, baby brother Ivor and Nan-Oh and Grando Hugglemonster. Not forgetting his best friend Denzel Dugglewug and all the other species of monster families of Roarsville!

Like all Disney Junior programming, Henry Hugglemonster is guided by an established curriculum that nurtures key areas of child development. The series focuses on social and emotional themes and affirms simple, everyday life lessons and positive family and community relationships.

Produced by twice Oscar nominated Brown Bag Films in Dublin, Ireland, the series was developed from children’s book “I’m a Happy Hugglewug” by Children’s Laureate award-winner, Niamh Sharkey, published by Walker Books. The series is directed by Emmy Award-winning Norton Virgien (Rugrats, Doc McStuffins); the lead writer is Sascha Paladino (Wonder Pets, Ni-Hao Kai-Lan); the producer is Gillian Higgins (Doc McStuffins, Octonauts). Dr Laura Brown (Jungle Junction, Third and Bird) served as educational consultant on the series.

Henry Hugglemonster is an original Disney Junior production commissioned by Disney’s London based production hub. 

Schuks! Your Country Needs You

Schuks Your Country Needs YouSA’s favourite prankster, Leon Schuster, together with Producer Andre Scholtz and Director Gray Hofmeyr have announced that principal photography on their latest top-secret cinematic outing, Schuks! Your Country Needs You, has wrapped.

A side-splitting candid camera comedy, Schuks! Your Country Needs You co-stars long-time Schuster collaborator Alfred ‘Shorty’ Ntombela, stage and screen comic icon Rob van Vuuren as well as newcomer Laré Birk and is due to hit cinemas nationwide on Friday 29 November 2013.

Returning to his hidden camera formula for the first time since the box-office smash-hit Schuks Tshabalala, Schuster is sure that Schuks! Your Country Needs You will resonate with the South African audiences. “I am especially excited to deliver some much-needed laughter to South African audiences,” he says. “We’re about as culturally diverse as a country can be, but we all share a common sense of humour – and if making people laugh means I need to get ‘klapped’ a few times, it’s worth it!” he says.

Gray Hofmeyr helms the production as Director and co-writer for this 8th Schuster film. “I am thrilled to be working with Leon and Andre again on Schuks! Your Country Needs You. Although audiences are familiar with the laugh-a-minute format of past prank-filled Schuster films, we can guarantee that this one has more, bigger and better pranks than we ever dared pull off before!” 

Iconic South African Film Producer Andre Scholtz takes the helm of the production, having worked with Schuster on such legendary films as You Must Be Joking!, Panic Mechanic, Sweet ‘n Short and Oh Schuks…I’m Gatvol. Scholtz says that Schuks! Your Country Needs You sees Schuster returning to his roots as South Africa’s foremost prankster and funny-guy. “Families will be rolling in the aisles as Leon, Rob, Alfie and Lare (and their unsuspecting targets) find themselves in some challenging – and hilarious – situations,” he says. 

Due for release on Friday 29 November 2013, Schuks Your Country Needs You will be distributed by The Walt Disney Company Africa under the Touchstone Pictures banner.

Elysium And Q&A With Brandon Auret


In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet.  The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land.  The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium.  With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission – one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces – but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.

Elysium will be released nationwide on 9 August 2013.

Q&A With Brandon Auret

Brandon, thank you very much for taking the time to answer our Q&A.

You play Drake, in the upcoming action / sci-fi Elysium with Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley, one in a number of action / sci-fi movies in your filmography. Are these genres ones that resonate with you? What other genres do you enjoy?

Well, considering that some of my all time favourite films are, Return of the Jedi, Platoon and Rambo (First blood), its easy to say that from a young age I’ve been drawn to and had a love for action and sci-fi films. As for other genres, I tend to enjoy horror films as well as a good drama which tells a gripping story! I’m also driven by great characters.

Tell us a little bit about Drake? As actors, the characters we see on screen, draw from personal aspects of their lives. Are there any particular traits in Drake that mirror you?

Drake is the right hand man of the character ‘Kruger’ who is played by, Sharlto Copley. He is  ex 32 battalion, and to put it in a nut shell is a full on killing machine. He does as he’s told by Kruger, no questions asked.

As an actor, I try and get lost in whatever role I’m playing but in some way there’s always a bit of “Me” in my characters. There really are no comparisons to Drake and I except for the fact that we both get a kick out of blowing shit up.

How far are your current movie roles from your days on South African television? How big a leap was the move?

After playing “Duppie” in Isidingo for 8 years, I left in 2004 because I felt that it was time to further my career and pursue my dream of becoming a film actor. Two years went by after leaving the soapie, where I then finally landed my first movie called, “Catch a fire”. In the last 9 years I’ve shot 16 feature films and two short films.

What led you to the film and television industry? When did you know you wanted to be part of it?

Like I said before, one of my all time favourite fiIms is ‘Return of the Jedi’ and this was actually the movie that inspired me to become an actor. In  fact, what I wanted most was to be a Jedi Knight, and truth be told, I still do. The journey of trying to perfect the art of acting started when I was 9 years old though, where I took up speech and drama classes with the amazing Mrs Edna Peck. By the age of 13, I landed my first lead role in a amateur dramatic show called, Bugsy Malone. I carried on performing through out High School and after doing my national service, I went on to study drama at Pretoria Tech. This is where I met the most amazing acting coach called Mr Rene Tredoux. He was not only my mentor but my friend too and he played a very influential role when its come to my acting career. He taught me that if I wanted something bad enough, I would have to work hard to get it and I feel that after all these years, filled with blood, sweat and tears, I’ve done just that.

You have a two your old daughter. Are you able to spend enough time with her when on location, and is it easy to make the transition from action man to father when you’re not shooting?

There’s one thing more important to me than my career and that is my daughter, Talia. Regardless of whether I’m working or not, I will always find the time to spend with her. For instance, whilst shooting Elysium in Canada I would make sure I got to Skype her on a regular basis. I guess you could say that when I’m with her I make the transition from action man to ‘action dad’. She’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and has changed my life in more ways than one. I can truly say, I am blessed beyond words.

You have worked with Sharlto Copley and Neil Blomkamp. Tell us a little about filmmaking with these fellow South Africans.

Where to start… Both Neil and Sharlto are unbelievably passionate and professional about what they do. They are simply the nicest guys you will ever meet and I  am exceptionally proud of their achievements and honoured to have worked with both of them.

The list of skills you have acquired is rather impressive, from martial arts, to weapons, diving to singing. Tell us a little on how you bring those to your roles.

With the skills I have acquired, its been a great help in certain roles I have had play. For instance, my love for martial arts has helped me in many of my ‘fight scenes’ that I’ve had to do as well as my knowledge of weapons which has been a huge help when it’s come to scenes that involve the shooting of guns etc… We live and we learn. I think that the older I get, my skills set just continues to improve.Right now I’m training with a boxing coach, Kyle ‘The Saint’ Bothma for an upcoming movie about a boxer who loses everything and finds redemption in underground gage fighting.I love the world of Mixed martial arts.

South Africans took priding in almost claiming District 9 as a South African production, and it did a lot to put SA on the film map. How do you see future and progression of South African Filmmaking?

District 9 is very much a South African production, as it consists of a 80% South African cast and crew. I think it definitely proved to the rest of the world that we as South Africans are more than capable of being world class film makers. I feel that, we as a country have amazing stories to tell.Hopefully long walk to freedom will be the last political story we make.

I just wish that there would be more support not only from the government but from the South African public too. If SAGA is able to bring some change and our audience is expanded, I most certainly see a very bright future filled with lots of potential for South African film making.

Do you find working both in-front of the camera, and behind, brings a better understanding to the projects, and helps your acting and producing all round?

With starting my own production company called ‘A Breed Apart Pictures’ with my best friend, I have most certainly expanded my knowledge as to what all goes into making a film. I have also gained new respect for producers and all the hard working film crew. Anyone who thinks being on a film set is glamorous, has no idea about what film making really is. It’s hard work and needs nothing less than pure dedication. I love film making. Every aspect of it, whether it be in front or behind the camera.

Do you have any tips for aspiring South African actors and filmmakers?

I would say, Do it! Just do it! As an actor do everything you possibly can. Do  musicals, children’s theatre, television, etc…  gain as much experience as possible. Another thing Be nice, because lets face it, nobody likes a pre-madonna. As for the film makers out there, get that story right because if it’s not on the page it’s not on the stage.

What’s next for you, as actor and as producer

Next I’ll be shooting Neill Blomkamp’s new movie called “Chappie”. We start shooting in September and will finish up in December, which will end off a pretty good 2013 for me. Then as the new year starts, we go into pre production for our first movie called “Shadow Boxer”, in association with Karoo Films. All of it is very exciting and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

The Lone Ranger: Review

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty “Hi-yo Silver” – the Lone Ranger rides into South African cinemas 12 July 2013.

Lone Ranger poster

Armie Hammer delivers a great portrayal of John Reid / The Lone Ranger, alongside his faithful companion Tonto, played by Johnny Depp.

The film follows the two as they ride their relationship roller-coaster, while thwarting the greedy and corrupt business officials, saving the town, and bringing justice.

There are nods to the original television series, and several tongue-in-cheek one-liners from Depp as Tonto. There are hints of Captain Jack Sparrow that seem to surface in the character, this adds to lighten several moments.

Just as you think it’s time to start wrapping things up, the first notes of The William Tell Overture strike up, and you know that bad guys are in for a rough time.

An enjoyable film, that will introduce the younger generation to an iconic character, and instil in them that gentlemen and just people still exist.

Keep a watch for Hammer in another look back to the past, in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

World War Z

World War ZReview

You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who hasn’t heard of story these days, from the many films, to television series, and reality shows of those who prep for the coming apocalypse. World War Z takes this genre, and ramps it up to the big screen, with Hollywood actors, action, and stunts.

World War Z, from the horror novel by Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War), follows Gerry Lane on his mission to help find a cure to the unknown virus that causes people to turn on each other and begin feeding on other humans.

Brad Pitt gives an enjoyable interpretation of the lead character, presenting a brave Gerry, who seems to have his own hidden issues which are likely the reason why he no longer works as an investigator for the UN. It would have been great to see some further character backgrounds, and development, but at around 2 hours, that would make this a very long film.

There’s tension, and the usual moments that make you jump, however the tension isn’t too strong, so will appeal to horror fanatics and ordinary movie-goers alike. This is not your usual, predictable zombie slaughter-fest, but also an enjoyable story, albeit lacking a little ‘something’ in the depth department.

SAMDB members Dan Hirst and Paul Hampshire were part of the talented team of stunt performers on World War Z.

Treat yourself to a few hours of escapism, and see what’s in-store in the zombie apocalypse.

World War Z will be in South African cinemas Friday, 12 July 2013


Production Notes

On an ordinary day, Gerry Lane and his family find their quiet drive interrupted by urban gridlock.  An ex-United Nations investigator, Lane senses that this is no ordinary traffic jam.  As police helicopters buzz the sky and motorcycle cops careen wildly below, the city erupts into chaos.

Something is causing hordes of people to viciously attack each other – a lethal virus that is spread through a single bite, turning healthy humans into something unrecognizable, unthinking and feral.  Neighbor turns on neighbor; a helpful stranger suddenly becomes a dangerous enemy. The origins of the virus are unknown, and the number of infected grows exponentially larger each day, quickly becoming a global pandemic.  As the infected overwhelm the world’s armies and rapidly topple its governments, Lane is forced to return to his dangerous former life to insure the safety of his family, leading a desperate worldwide search for the source of the epidemic and a means to stop its relentless spread.

Paramount Pictures and Skydance Production present, in association with Hemisphere Media Capital and GK Films, a Plan B Entertainment/2DUX2 Production, a Marc Forster film, “World War Z.” The film is being distributed worldwide by Paramount Pictures Corporation, a Viacom, Inc. company.

Colour Me Crazy 5km Run & Colour Fest Coming Soon

Colour and Music Fest and RunThe Colour Me Crazy 5km Run & Colour Fest will be exploding in Joburg and Cape Town later this year with a kaleidoscope of colour, energy, dancing, music and fun in one crazy event SA has never seen before.

Keep fit and have loads of fun with the 5km run packed with colour ending up in an epic music festival covered in even more vibrant colours.

Get blasted with red, yellow, green, blue and pink coloured powder at each kilometre along the race. Then trade in your running shoes for your party shoes for a massive colour and music festival at the end of the race including performances from the popular SA music acts Goodluck and Mi Casa!

Colour and Music Fest and Run

Individuals of all age and ability are invited to take part in this unique day. Whether you’re in a team or running the race solo – put on a wacky white outfit and get ready to walk, run, skip or dance your way through breathtaking clouds of colour all the way to the end. Don’t want to break a sweat? No worries the run is not compulsory – soak up the awesome tunes and vibrant atmosphere at the festival instead!

Do not miss out on the first Colour Me Crazy 5km Run & Colour Fest and get your tickets today!

Joburg:  21st September, Riversands Farm, JHB North
Performers include – Mi Casa, Locnville, Dean Fuel, Roger Goode, DJ Wags, Household Funk Crazy White Boy

Cape Town: 26th October 2013, Ostrich Ranch, N7
Performers include – Goodluck, Locnville, Dean Fuel, Roger Goode, DJ Mixi (more to be confirmed)

Tickets are R290 or R320 with a T-shirt. Tickets available at www.quicket.co.za.

Colour and Music Fest and Run

Despicable Me 2 Minions Stuart And Jorge At Grandwest

Two of the Despicable Me 2 Minions, Stuart and Jorge, were out and about touring Grandwest on 29 June, posing for photos with their fans, and leading children in a Minion-ised version of The YMCA!

Stuart and Jorge


Already topping international box office lists, Despicable Me 2 is opens 5 July 2013 in South African cinemas. Loved by both children and parents alike, these little yellow critters are responsible for many laughs.

Minions Stuart and Jorge of Despicable Me

Ending a long day of fan interaction at Nu Metro at the Grandwest Casino, they two Minions dished out Minion cupcakes, posters and goodies to all, with loads of yellow faces from the nearby Minion Face Painting stand.

Minion Face Painting


Be sure to catch Despicable Me 2 in cinemas now, and read more on the SAMDB New Blog.

ACT Scholarship Awards Judges Announced

Auditions for the ACT | DALRO | Nedbank Scholarships Programme, and for the opportunity to MC the Final event in Johannesburg on 30 September 2013, are currently taking place around the country.

Registrations for the Scholarships Programme have closed, but there are still audition slots available in Johannesburg (9 July) and Bloemfontein (13 July) for aspiring presenters to enter the MC auditions. Interested candidates can apply, in writing, to Rahiem at rahiem@act.org.za.

The Final event, which will be hosted by UJ Arts & Culture at the University of Johannesburg, will see six finalists showcasing their acting, dancing and singing abilities to a live audience and an independent panel of judges as they compete to win one of three performing arts scholarships, with a combined value of R315 000.

The 2013 panel of distinguished judges comprises Kgomotso Christopher, Rozanne Bishop, Jennis Williamson, David April, Nacia Kruger and Themi Venturas.

She may be best-known to South African audiences as Katlego Sibeko on SABC3’s Isidingo, but the glamorous and graceful actress Kgomotso Christopher is also a voice-over artist, MC and academic and has extensive international experience behind the scenes in the television industry.

Rozanne Bishop/McKenzie is a bilingual presenter, MC and voiceover artist based in Johannesburg. She is an anchor on Dagbreek, a daily live Afrikaans breakfast show and is also a field presenter on the popular Afrikaans magazine show Kwêla, both on Kyknet.

Manager of Talent Etc™, Jennis Williamson, is thoroughly acquainted with the South African entertainment industry and brings valuable expertise, knowledge and specialist management skills to the table, both in this capacity, and from his experience as an actor and dancer/choreographer.

David April is the Creative Entrepreneurial Officer (CEO) of David April, an arts consultancy for project management, entertainment, fundraising, education and training. April has a reputation for innovation and excellence and is passionate about arts and culture development.

After completing a BA Degree in Tourism & Recreation at the North-West University, Nacia Kruger decided to follow her dream and in 2004 obtained her National Diploma in Musical Theatre from Pretoria Technikon (now Tswhane University of Technology). Nacia is a well-known face in the Musical Theatre circles, works regularly as an actress and voice-over artist, and has also made her mark as a director. Nacia joined The Playhouse in 2011, opening branches in Pretoria and recently in Cape Town.

Themi Venturas has an Honours degree in Performing Arts from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He spent six years as Head of Productions at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre Company at UKZN, followed by four years as the Community Programme Director at the then Natal Performing Arts Council (now known as the Playhouse Company). Venturas has been an independent producer and owner of Themi Venturas Productions since 1993. In 2002 he built his own theatre, the Catalina Theatre at Wilson’s Wharf in Durban. Themi is also a freelance director and has received three Lifetime Achievement awards. He is a Board Member of the Arts & Culture Trust, the CEO of TheatreBIZ and was the PANSA KZN Chairperson for a number of years.

For more information on the Scholarships programme, please visit www.act.org.za.

Smurf Day At Percy Bartley House

June 22nd, 2013 was International Smurf Day, and SAMDB snuck in to see the happenings at Percy Bartley House.

Smurfs Day

Situated in Woodstock, Cape Town, it is a place for up to 25 young men from the streets, or dysfunctional homes, often referred by the court. The primary aim of the non-profit organisation, is seeking to serve the disadvantaged in the community.

Celebrities, media and key partners of Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI) helped give the building a once over, brightening the environment of these young men, while adding some fun to a great day.

Smurf Day

“A key message of Smurfs 2 and Global Smurfs Day is to spread love and goodwill. Without the generosity of our promotional partners, this day would not be possible. Thanks must go out to Jack’s Paint and Hardware, Bokomo, Idea Fruits, Checkers, Prima Toys, Sea Harvest, Tropika, UbiSoft, Sony Mobile,  Sony Home Entertainment, Ackermans, Popz Popcorn, Sony Music, Build-A- Bear Workshop and McDonalds for all their support and involvement in making what we certainly hope will be a special day for each of our chosen charities,” say Bashan Govindarajulu, marketing manager, SPRI, South Africa.

View further information on Percy Bartley House.

See more photos of the day in the International Smurf Day Album on the SAMDB Facebook page.

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