Atlanta Producers Give Big Break to South African Actors

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Rising Stars in New Romantic Comedy: Love By Chance

A new romantic comedy recently produced entitled “Love by Chance” stars four of South Africa’s (SA) newest and finest talent from the competition television series Top Actor (SA). Altovise Lawrence and Atandwa Kani star as lead roles in the film while Denise Zimba and Nicholas Nkuna are their supporting (SA) co-stars. This opportunity has been given by the following Atlanta-based, independent, and experienced producers:Ty Johnston, Errol Sadler, Cristina Davis, James Few and Samad Davis. In today’s Hollywood of the South, the film showcased how the producers utilized the two international stars to tell the narrative. With such a dreamy premise, the film introduces the two aspiring (SA) actors as they chase their Hollywood dreams in a new country, trying to figure out new friends and love all in the big city of Hotlanta.

The measures to close the opportunity gap for new fresh talent will continue to take time. Producer Ty Johnston states, “Bringing in diverse talent to the U.S. is very competitive. When an experienced actor comes here from another country to pursue work, they are considered a brand-new actor. As a producer, you’ll take on the challenge of working the film market in two countries verses one.” Ty Shares her experience working with talent, “I work with international talent in other countries such as the Bahamas and this too seems to be a hurdle. The best way to introduce an international actor is to create your own platform for them, attach brands to push, maximize all possibilities and capitalize from all opportunities.”

Independent filmmakers confront entirely different obstacles and sometimes the most daunting of which is the uncertainty of the independent film market itself. For more established producers, those with a successful body of work such as this group, their name is their brand, and it automatically conveys value in domestic and foreign markets. Errol Sadler states, “It was amazing working with such a talented group of producers. We understand that we live in a diverse world, so our approach is everything expect being one track minded”.

Love by Chance won’t be the first film that some of these producers have utilized international talent. Samad Davis has been creating and producing television and film projects in Africa for over the past decade and he's the power pellet behind this film. Samad created and produced Top Actor South Africa, a large brand for the country and its first TV Show to discover new and rising talent in South Africa. The seasonal winners get a cash prize along with an agency contract to work in the States and star in a Screen Actors Guild feature film such as Love By Chance. The television series is in its third season and has aired the past two season’s on BET Africa.

Some of the costars to the film are veteran actors Carl Anthony Payne (Martin, Crazy, Sexy, Cool: TLC Movie, The Messenger, and Feast III), Clifton Powell (Ray, Norbit, Woman Thou Art Loosed, and Rush Hour), Jael Roberson (Push, Comeback Dad, and Governor’s Daughter), Stevie Baggs Jr. (Focus, For Better or For Worse, and Necessary Roughness), E. Roger Mitchell (Flight, Equalizer, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and The Spectacular Now), and Desi Banks (Facebook and Instagram sensation with over 200k followers). Actor Terri J. Vaughn (Steve Harvey Show, Girlfriends Getaway, and Greenleaf) who portrays herself in the film as a director shares insight and her experience from working on this feature: "It was an incredible treat to work with the talented and beautiful Altovise and the very charming and funny Atwanda. I had no idea what to expect working with artists from a continent and culture completely on the other side of the world. It was refreshing, fun and very familiar, like we already knew each other. It was truly an honor for me and I hope to get to do it again." Love by Chance is scheduled to premier in the spring of 2017.

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Ty Johnston
A Fine Line Agency
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