Leon Schuster’s latest film, Mama Jack which will be released in South Africa on 24 November 2005, was screened at the American Film Market (AFM) in Santa Monica yesterday and received a phenomenal response from a special recruited audience and had them rolling in their seats with laughter. This is the first time that a Leon Schuster film was screened to international audiences before its commercial release in South Africa.
The audience was unanimous in their acclaim for the film and thought that it was a fantastic family film. They found the storyline of Mama Jack to be new and fresh and liked the unusual transition of Leon Schuster’s character, Jack Theron, from a white man to a black woman. They also rated Mama Jack as a better film than Mrs Doubtfire and Big Momma’s House.
Producer Anant Singh commenting from Los Angeles said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the positive response received by Mama Jack last night. The rating we received from the recruited audience was way above average and the audience gave the film a massive applause at the end of the screening. Mama Jack is without any doubt, Leon’s most commercial film to date and with this fantastic response, we are confident that it will find success with mainstream audiences internationally. This is a great testament to the partnership between Leon and co-writer and director, Gray Hofmeyr who have done a great job.”
Mama Jack is the story of Jack Theron, who works on a film set, however, his movie director boss hates him. In a bid to get rid of Jack, the director spikes his drink at a glamorous function, and before long Jack has unwittingly offended all the attending dignitaries, ruined the function and finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Now, on the run and desperate, Jack turns to his friend, Shorty, a make-up artist for help, and emerges disguised as a black woman, Mama Jack. Mama Jack soon finds “herself” employed by the director’s fianc�e and begins to fall in love with her. A series of deceptions and misunderstandings pile up and, in true Schuster style and comic mayhem results.
Also present at the Los Angeles screening was Faizon Love who played Pudbedder (“The Fat One”) in Mr Bones. After watching Mama Jack, Faizon said, “Wow ! What a great movie. I have seen most of Leon’s previous films and this is surely his best. I am sure that Mama Jack will out-gross Mr Bones at the South African boxoffice and will beat Titanic’s record as the only film to have outgrossed Mr Bones in South Africa.”
The Los Angeles-based Conquistador Entertainment is handling international sales on Mama Jack at the American Film Market. The company achieved tremendous success with Schuster’s previous blockbuster, Mr Bones which they also represented internationally, selling the film to major international territories, including Germany, India, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Thailand and Turkey.
Mama Jack stars Leon Schuster, Alfred Ntombela, Mary-Anne Barlow, Lionel Newton, Shaleen Surtie-Richards. The film is a Videovision Entertainment production in association with Distant Horizon and Delta Films (Pty) Ltd, produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring, executive produced by Sanjeev Singh and Sudhir Pragjee and is written by Leon Schuster, Gray Hofmeyr, Paul Slabolepsky and Jeff Newton and directed by Gray Hofmeyr.
Mama Jack will be released throughout South Africa on 24 November 2005 through United International Pictures in one of the widest releases ever for a South African film.