Writing of spelonk have been inspired by many elements for myself (Desmond Denton). From a big love for history, folklore, creating South African films that can bridge our borders.... all these elements and yet one key component has been driving it all along.
In all honesty I will admit that a large part of writing Spelonk came from having my first daughter, Katelyn. It has been an incredible journey this far and I feel like I am learning so much about myself, the world world and finding big truths with her in the middle of ordinary moments. I have been fortunate to travel with her to countries such as USA and, Istanbul and first hand experience how the world came alive to her. As I am a writer, director and storyteller, I ask myself what story do I tell little Katelyn about the world she grows up in. What hope do I grow in her heart?
In a way Spelonk has become my personal question- of what world little Katelyn will grow up in, what world we leave behind in a way. It is a journey of hope and yet sometimes fear.
Dealing within a context of South Africa where there is a strong dual view - Firstly looking at the country with what it has accomplished, the rainbow nation, filled with potential, talent, creativity, with hope. A place where people have found ways to get together beyond our differences, to build a new nation. I grew up seeing the miracle, the change of Apartheid to the rainbow nation and stood up together as we triumphed over many obstacles. I am personally very proud of so many things we can boast with as a country.
Yet in the same breath one can't ignore the current reality which often overshadows this hope. While many emigrate away from South Africa whether due to economical of safety reasons- I believe we should look at both sides of the coin. In this country of hope, I often find myself in thought regarding what we can do to change the situation. We find high levels of corruption, murder rates unseen in any other country, babies being raped by various men and left for dead, hate speech flaring up all over and people divided... The rainbow nation becomes a chess board of black and white, and the magic of the rainbow nation seems to fade. All this happens while top level politicians often merely laugh when addressed about matters of importance.
Clearly, humans are a force of nature, but unlike any other natural disaster, we are not only the cause of so much destruction, we participate in it (whether directly involved, or passively watching). The film in itself is an act of awareness, of our impact on nature, each other and bringing about the question of what future are we shaping, or passively watching as it is shaped by others. The film brings about the best of an post apocalyptic action film with a tale of caution to society, a testament to people who care about future generations.
Spelonk allows us to research, investigate the unique setting of South Africa and Cape town, yet with very real concerns.
"Our apocalypse is not caused by the "what if’s, its caused by the "what if we don't’s "
We are very excited to be confirming the intern team of 2016 that will be part of Spelonk. Below one of the interns
Read below for more about Jonathan Maree.
Through his love for film, Jonathan has worked tirelessly in the industry, as an extra/featured and cast trying to carve a name for himself while working in the medical field. His dedication and loyalty has inspired and left such an impression that he was quickly recommended by casting producers and agents alike featuring in commercials locally and abroad.
Jonathan decided to quit his job to concentrate on pursuing his passion. As his passion grew, his inquiring mind wanted to experience the scenes behind camera because it intrigued him to the extent that he it his mission to get into the industry fulltime.
A change given to him by Desmond Denton of Imagenheart films in the capacity of intern, learning all aspects of filmmaking.
Imagenheart has an exceptionally good name as an international award winning Film Company.
Just like they do, I also want to live my dream. Imagenheart can open a whole new world of adventure for me through my internship, as I feel I can, through them live my dream and give wings to my imagination and take me to greater heights. Imagenheart is putting butterflies in my belly once again and I know I can soar with the guidance of their professional team led by Desmond Denton.
What fascinates me the most about the Spelonk movie is the message its carries about globalization and the waste and depletion of our natural resources. Spelonk movie needs to be watched by everyone because we all the responsibility to learn and rediscover ourselves and change our way thinking where our planet is concerned.
Alicia Smit is the latest "spelonker" to join the Imagenheart team to bring this film to life
Alicia have a background in design and marketing. Read more about her involvement with project
I like working with interesting people I can learn from and help me be more creative. It is a very stimulating environment. Imagenheart is also a very good film company with very good productions. I also have a interest in film production and would love to learn more about it.
world of Spelonk:
A lone bounty hunter seeking what was in the ashes of Cape Town trying to make sense of what had happen. Uncertainty and sadness rules as he tries to unravel the mystery and restore his beautiful city. I am excited to work on spelonk because it is a unique South African movie, and plays of in Cape Town witch is very familiar scenery to me.
How beautiful is the Afrikaans word; SPELONK. The English translation being, a cave or a grotto. Or the Afrikaans word; SPELONKagtig, that translates to, cavernous. And my personal favourite, as it resonates with my being; SPELONK bewoner, meaning cave dweller or Troglodyte. This last word, Troglodyte which in Afrikaans is; hermiet, kluisenaar and troglodiet. So, SPELONK, the title of the new film currently in development by the hugely talented and creative force, Desmond Denton who has amassed an impressive portfolio in his young life. Desmond is definitely the one to watch. His relentless pursuit of creating world class entertainment is admirable, to say the least. His passion for good story telling is like a breath of fresh air in the somewhat jaded local creative landscape. The world he creates in SPELONK is a futuristic but all too realistic view of the future of the world if it continues on the runaway path it’s currently on. It’s the story about survivors in a post-apocalyptic environment. A world where excitement and danger is de rigour. A world we will recognise but hope to never live in. Our world. And yes, there are trogs, loners, weirdoes, fearless women and men, who have to face their own and sometimes all too real demons. And they will do whatever it takes in order to survive. This is an ambitious attempt by the writer/director of SPELONK, Desmond Denton, to awaken South African audiences and to shake them out of their weary, ‘maar net nog n Afrikaans fliek’, slumber. Exciting, fast paced, sexy, intelligent. A peak at our not so impossible future. It’s like nothing we have ever seen from a local film maker. And ambitious because it is an entirely created world where nothing is as it was before. Where people will fight to the death for a piece of the last and very limited natural resources. A world that’s become harsh and unfriendly. Where people kill out of necessity, and form alien and unsavoury alliances for survival. And SPELONK is also a world where fearless women and men with untamed hearts roam the barren landscape searching for meaning and passion. Searching for a foothold in a world that’s not for the weak and fearful. This film is going to take your breath away and take you on the ride of your life. A Film that’s going to make you think about yourself and the world we live in in a whole new way. The future is near. SPELONK will bring it to your life. Remember this word; SPELONK.
ABOUT ZOLIE MARKEY
To write a short bio of oneself. To refer to one’s self in the third person. To stay unbiased. To prevent sounding too blasé on the one hand and to not wax lyrical on the other. Funny how hard it is for me to talk about myself. To tell who I really am yet stay in the context of the intended reader. The words that serve as a sales pitch for you. One could be glib; I am more than the sum of my parts. Mythological; I am that which is. Whimsical; I am just a girl standing in front of you wanting to be loved. Clever; has hidden depth within the vortex of my sole. Or honest; I am brave or practical; I am a writer, director, actress, mother and widow. Do these different versions of the practical me way up in equal measurements? That would take a visit to a shrink. So let me simplify things and let’s just talk about my passion. That which makes me come alive. That thing that makes me tingle all over like the first date with your brand new, very handsome, sexy and vigorous lover to be. I can remember that. That thing is…. Drumroll please… Making movies! Creating and bringing to life stories for other people to watch and judge me by. A place than can be as scary as it is exciting. A place I feel alive in. I don’t expect you to understand the depth of my love and passion for movies. Let me try and explain. Creating a story can feel, at times, easy for me. The audience’s expectations, what’s going on the world, what is currently fashionable in Hollywood and at home, what’s in the heart of disenfranchised South Africans and people all over the world and what can do to spread ones creative tentacles to reach the hearts and minds of audiences across borders, well that’s a little more daunting. So where did this thing, this passion, this that makes me tingle, that thing, where did it come from? I suppose it started when as a 5 year old, going on 40, child my grandma would drop me every Saturday morning without fail, in front of the Roxy, the only cinema in Uitenhage. For her it meant a couple of hours‘ reprieve from a busy little girl and for me it meant the world of wonders. I felt very independent, grown up. So much so that I stole a pair of my mother’s pantyhose and would slide them in the ladies toilet the minute I had bought my ticket. I could have fitted my entire body into those pantyhose. The other kids would stare and snigger at the bunched up pantyhose feet sticking out of my little open toed sandals but I was unfazed by their mirth. And then there was/is fate. When I turned 9, and had long grown out of my pantyhose fetish (for good I might add)) I joined my mom and her brand new husband in Natal. His house was being renovated to make place for his new instant family and we stayed in the Berea Lido Hotel for what felt to me like forever. It was here that I one day sauntered past the dance hall of the Hotel and first heard and then saw a taping of the radio show, Pick a Box. I stood there staring with wide eyes. Years later I would be in a Disney movie with Peter Lotus and after that I was one of the leads in a Television series called Winchester with Maureen O Dair and Roger Service who played my mom and dad in the show. These were the 3 people I saw that day at the Berea Lido Hotel when I was nine, and remarkably they remembered me. Or, it could have been the time when as a high school teenager I saw the play ‘Die van Aardes van Grootoor, written by and starring Pieter Dirk Uys and Magda Beukes. It was the very paly I starred and was directed by Pieter Dirk Uys a few years later. This then is where it began. This is my world. The place I breathe easy. The place that terrifies and elates me in equal measures. The only thing that has never left me. The thing that I think loves me back. The world of entertainment. Movies. To write them, to create them, to direct them, to produce them. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
The script team of Spelonk wants to welcome the latest member Tamzin Atkins to the team.
Read below for more from Tamzin
I started writing my own fictional stories at the age of nine. I am now 25 years old and have 16 years of experimental wisdom in this field behind me. From an early age I knew my passion and purpose in life revolved around script and novel writing. I studied at Media Village in 2012 where I got a certificate for most promising Screen Writer. I have worked only with professional actors on my projects and have started promoting my very own Tv Series. When I was sixteen I had a lot of fun solely writing, directing, editing and filming comedies, staring talented close friends. In 2013 I was approached to write a short film for a Nollywood International competition and it featured 10th place out of 500 entries.
So much thought has gone into this project! I am overwhelmed by the level and depth of detail disclosed. Corruption and distortion leading to death and destruction, all because man is too blind to discern between wisdom and greed. I am smitten with this story, as it consumes me. Spelonk welcomes you to a world undone.
Wow! I am astounded by the amount of talent I am surrounded by. I value my time with Desmond Denton, as he is a mentor and great teacher. It is an adventure being part of this team and I am not only learning daily, I am gathering a tremendous amount of knowledge, wisdom and strength by expressing myself and stepping out of my comfort zone. I thrive on challenges and cannot wait to see what the future holds with ImagenHeart. Bring it on!
As we are creating unique fighting styles and scenes for Spelonk, we are very fortunate to work with an incredible firearm kydex holster and gear company- SNIPER GEAR
Guns and Tactics, widely known for their Sniper Gear Kydex Holsters, are the largest manufacturing company in Africa, of firearm kydex holsters and gear. They are experienced in designing and producing firearm and weapon gear for Law Enforcement, Military and general public.Due to their professional and creative design team, they are able to produce and manufacture pretty much any firearm and weapon gear.
Therefore, Guns and Tactics will be involved at manufacturing the necessary firearm and weapon gear for the movie, Spelonk
We are excited to have confirmed the casting director for the film to assist get the required talent to the project. Shelani van Niekerk comes with a lot of experience in arts. Read below more about her and how she envisions spelonk
An Apocalyptic Cape – Town
In a time where there is hardly any oxygen, no water and very little resources to survive, what would happen to me? I would like to experience this and explore what this apocalyptic time would be like. The mystery in the concept draws you in immediately. The more I hear about it, the more intriguing it becomes. It is a broken world. A broken world gives people the opportunity to change, to choose differently and to bring light, or to be drawn in and swallowed by darkness. This has so much potential and beautiful possibilities.
What I personally enjoy to perform, is broken innocence. An innocent character that is not in control of her circumstances, but has a turning point or a show of strength that has always been there, but needed time to develop the courage necessary to risk it all.
We want to encourage actresses, models and other creatives to come to the auditions
Shelani Van Niekerk Biography
I graduated from the Waterfront Theatre College in 2011 with Advanced Tap, Intermediate Modern and Gold jazz in Dancing, Licentiate Diploma in Musical Theatre, Drama as well as my Teachers in Drama. I did a few small student films and castings in 2012 when I found very little inspiration in the performing world and decided to do something completely different. In the beginning of 2013 I went to do ‘Shaolin Kung Fu’ in an Academy in the mountains of China, Shandong Province. I learnt many skills, experienced the culture of Kung Fu, discipline, Chinese principles and trained every day. My trip was shortened to a month when there was an opening at Stellenbosch Waldorf School for a drama Teacher. I have now been working for Waldorf since June 2013 till this present moment, two and a half years in full capacity. During this time I have directed and produced six productions, two of which were Shakespeare plays and the other four was: ‘Love and Information’ by Caryl Churchill, ‘DNA’ By Dennis Kelly, ‘Screw Tape’ based on the Screw Tape letters and a South-African play “The Syringa Tree” by Pamela Gien. I have also taught drama classes to the whole high school. I volunteered at a cheetah Outreach in Somerset-West, working with Cheetahs on weekends, during April 2013 till December 2014. Then I started to volunteer at Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein during December 2014 where I still volunteer with leopards, caracals, servals and cheetahs when I get the chance. This was to serve the community as well as observing wild animals and their movement to be able to access this from personal experience, for a character. Other talents I have acquired throughout these years and still do at present, is fire-poi dancing, Salsa dancing and Pole fitness. I am also a part of a choir called Vocal Unity and we perform where we are needed to perform at different venues throughout Cape Town.
Involvement And Interest in ‘Spelonk’
Why ONStv is excited about Spelonk:
As you know, ONStv is a pioneer in its field of offering true SA Movies to the expats worldwide. This is why Spelonk draw our attention. Being the First-of-its-kind of products we are excited to be involved with Spelonk as it will be the first post-apocalypse film and also the first Action-Adventure genre film of its kind made in South Africa. The storyline and being directed by an award-winning director puts the film in a category to be recognized and awarded internationally. The film has lots of potential to increase the monetisation beyond box office and dvd sales; from action figures to judicious product placements. Another exciting part is that the characters and the story can be extended into a television series, a sequel or even a trilogy. From a distributor’s perspective this film will be very marketable and will have a great potential to be distributed worldwide.
What viewers can look forward to:
Viewers can look forward to a movie of World Standards. The remarkable story of a hero with a good heart, that will take you on an unforgettable journey. A lone bounty hunter fighting for his own survival who emerges as a leader with a chance to save the world. The movie will have some similarities with the very popular and exciting series Game of Thrones and may also remind you of the movie The Last Airbender.