is not static
Rather, it is a value that you have to keep redefining, in detail, as you learn more. That’s because, as you learn more in the pursuit of excellence, your benchmarks change.
This is a principle that shapes our work. This is an industry that is constantly in motion: content trends develop, distribution models change, and finance models evolve. We’ve embraced this fluidity. It’s what drives us to keep searching for content that resonates with audiences.
The result? Content that is always entertaining; that speaks to audiences in their own languages without preaching or patronizing; that’s honest and reflects the world we live in – and, most importantly, changes how people think.
Our goal might be to take audiences on an entertaining journey through different worlds, but our approach is a strategic and disciplined one. We have our sights set on developing a content studio with global reach. We’re focused on delivering strong profit margins, and we do this by managing the risk present in all areas of the value chain, from development to production and distribution.
Our goal is to make a minimum of four feature films every year, each with a budget in the R6 million to R20 million range. We oversee their distribution locally and in secondary markets around the world to maximise return on investment.
We’re proud of our track record to date: over the past four years, The Ergo Company has raised more than R150 million in finance, enabling us to develop more than 20 films. We’re aided in the pursuit of our goals by partnerships with distribution companies in Europe, the USA and Africa, as well as relationships with local and international leaders in development, sales and marketing.
We’re proud to be a majority black owned company.
In the 10 years since our establishment, The Ergo Company has developed a number of film projects. We are now adding high end limited series projects with high investment value to our development, including the likes of Gog’Helen (2013) Mrs Right Guy (2016), Love By Chance (2017), The Tokoloshe (2019), Freedom (2020), Pou (2022), The Fragile King (2023).We are now adding high-end limited series projects with high investment value, with the Netflix series Kings of Joburg Season 2 (2023) leading the way.
The company will launch its first animation film, Headspace, in South Africa in September 2023.
While we are focused on delivering a sound return on investment for all stakeholders, we are equally determined to work on films we find meaningful. We have a passion for unusual projects: scripts that tackle unique facets of our human experience; stories that tell a truth about the human condition and which resonate with emotion. At the same time, we are geared towards telling stories that our audiences like – films that are both culturally specific and universal in their appeal.
Our passion for excellence extends to developing an industry that is characterized by this quality. This is why we are committed to mentoring South Africa’s upcoming talent, creating a showcase for their skills while ensuring that the African voice echoes around the world.
We are pleased to offer our experience to help novice directors as they plan the filmmaking process, assisting them in fundraising and brokering deals with service providers and equipment providers. We also draw on our relationships with established heads of department, who are happy to share their knowledge, skills and experience with young directors.
We’re proud that our mentoring programmes have helped to unearth some exceptional talent, including the likes of Sibusiso Khuzwayo – but we are always on the lookout for hungry, passionate youngsters who are willing to learn from us and place their trust in the process.
What We Offer
We help original film ideas grow into inspired film scripts.
South Africa is a highly sought after filming destination. We work with producers around the globe who want to make use of our talent and other resources, helping them source outstanding film crews and helping secure the maximum South African tax rebate, all while ensuring their projects are produced to the highest standards.
Our emphasis on film as a business means that we are able to package films for investors and financers, ensuring they receive a sound return on investment.
Producer , Executive Producer, Writer
and Cultural Activist
Cati began her career as an archival researcher in documentary films after graduating with a degree in African history from Wits. It was at this time that she began writing her first film, Come See the Bioscope, about Sol Plaatje; a project which embodied her passion for her craft.
Focusing on distribution opportunities for black filmmakers
Our sister company, Ergo Distro International (EDI), is envisaged as a bridge between Africa and the United States, serving as a launchpad for African and African-American filmmakers. We co-finance and co-produce quality, independent projects, from dramas to thrillers and romantic comedies, in both continents.
We’re building that bridge through our dedicated infrastructure in Africa, which allows for multi-platform releases, whether in theatres, on television, video on demand, DVD, streaming video on demand or even airline releases. Our goal is to offer complete seamlessness of the same standard that’s synonymous with the North American market, replicating that continent’s process. This distribution pipeline is an asset to minority independent filmmakers, helping them not only recoup costs, but also turn a profit – all while granting them exposure to audiences on both continents. This model boosts both the creative and business sides of the filmmaker’s business.
Dumi and Cati are joined in this venture by award-winning United States producer Samad Davis. Samad is the mind behind projects like TV docu-series The Minds of Men & Minds of Men Africa; One Nation Many Voices; award winning short ﬁlm Glimpse; Three Can Play That Game (starring Vivica A Fox); and the award-winning film Mooz-lum, starring Nia Long, Evan Ross, Roger Guenveur Smith and Danny Glover. Samad’s credits further include the hit competitive TV series: Top Actor SA & Africa, where he is the format creator and executive producer. His extensive experience and knowledge of Africa has been honed through his previous work as president and COO of Magna World Partners, an international trade and investment firm focused on the continent.