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DARK RISING

SDFilms

Dark Rising is a 60-min fantasy-drama episodic currently in development for premium SVOD platforms

Created by Souvid Datta, the proof-of-concept - featured in the first-look trailer above - was filmed on a micro-budget with street-casting on location in the Kibera slum of Nairobi.

Since then, the narrative has widened following emerging international super-humans as they struggle to find their place in our present-day world – one that has grown increasingly reactionary in their wake.

Dark Rising is a 60-min fantasy-drama episodic currently in development for premium SVOD platformsCreated by Souvid Datta, the proof-of-concept - featured in the first-look trailer above - was filmed on a micro-budget with street-casting on location in the Kibera slum of Nairobi. Since then, the narrative has widened following emerging international super-humans as they struggle to find their place in our present-day world – one that has grown increasingly reactionary in their wake.

A diverse, original superhero TV

Season one pits competing protagonists against an elusive and Machiavellian human foe, anchoring us to a core good-versus-evil conflict that exists within the current superhero Zeitgeist and successful dramatic traditions.

As with the best of television though, Dark Rising aims to be far more. By pushing the genre into more nuanced and grittier territory, the show delves into timely, yet universal themes of collective identity and discrimination, political ambition and personal redemption.

The show’s protagonists are dark and rich characters with traumatic pasts – notably closer to villains than traditional heroes. We follow as they are forced to rediscover and rebuild morality in a world where they could so easily rule supreme.

Evolving the superhero genre

Recall the point when Game of Thrones dared to be more than an epic fantasy saga and rather an unflinching thematic and visual exposition on power. Consider how Sense 8 and Heroes shone brightest by evolving past sci-fi structures to explore deeper pursuits of purpose, identity and family. 

So too, Dark Rising should not be judged as yet another populist Marvel or DC iteration - despite being aimed at the vast genre following. Rather, a hyper-realist tone, a global scope and a cinematic vision will set it apart, with the grand ambition of provoking debate on human virtue itself.

By evolving beyond the superhero caricatures often found in Network television staples, and by always setting narratives within a backdrop of contemporary global issues, Dark Rising aims to be television’s most authentic superhero show.

Without sacrifice to pace or tension, it will offer widely representative, fully-formed characters, and nuanced moral conflicts, pushing for a modernisation of the genre. The ultimate aim is to create a genuine superhero narrative worthy of our changing times and today’s discerning fans, who above all yearn for depth and authenticity.

Dark Rising's world will be wild and cruel but remains allegorical and hopeful – inviting a new look at what it means to be human.

Comic Con London unveiling

On May 2018, Dark Rising  was exclusively unveiled as a new superhero series in development at Centre Stage for MCM Comic Con at the London's ExCeL.

With an overwhelming, positive response and raving crowds, the panel event marked the launch of the fan site and the first teaser trailer.

Over three thousand fans across 14 countries signed up to a temporarily site to follow the series development and unlock exclusive content at darkrising.tv

INTRODUCING LEAD CAST FROM KIBERA, NAIROBI

DALILA SIALO   Ann Marie Chibole
SEFU SIALO   Maxmillan Odhiambo
MALIA SIALO   Sabrina Faridah  Athman
SOLOMON KIDENDA   Felix Peter Otieno
DEEPAK DATTA   Souvid Datta
MARY   Michelle Mueni
TEACHER   Barrett Atho ‘Jublak’
GANG MEMBER 1   Seda Nigel 
GANG MEMBER 2   Rose Nouku
GANG MEMBER 3   Moroko Kalahari
GIRL 1   Tinashe Godiah
GIRL 2   Catherine Bahati
LEONARD   Jared Ochieng
GOVT OFFICER 1   Kelvin Hick 
GOVT OFFICER 2   Bernard Kingori  Hfire
GOVT OFFICER 3   Alphonce Rama 
RADIO PRESENTER   Vivian Onyuna 
MELANIE MCKAY   Ildiko Preszly
NEWS PRESENTER   Hans Morgeneyer 
MARKET WOMAN   Farida Ramadhan 
TRAIN PASSENGER   Bianju Morris
EXTRA 1   Grace Akinyi  Nyagwa 
EXTRA 2   Trizer Auma Odhiambo
EXTRA 3   Frank Lwambo 
CREW 

PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR 
Leonard Klishko 
LOCATION MANAGER
Nixon Ochieng  Oloo
DIRECTOR & DOP
Souvid Datta 
ASSISSTANT DOP
Mike Lolly P
2ND CAMERA
Mike Dimo 
CAMERA ASSISTANT
Eugene Mutisya
SOUND RECORDIST 1
Grishon Onyango
SOUND RECORDIST 2
Josephine Obudo 
SOUND RECORDIST 3
Nesta Negus  Marendes 
MAKE-UP ARTIST
Mjeri Gatheru 
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Melanie Cura  Daball
RUNNER
Stephen Otieno Ofuona 
PRODUCTION 

CREATOR
Souvid Datta 
SUPERVISING EDITOR 
Subhajit Prasad
MUSIC DIRECTOR
Soumik Datta 
CG ARTIST  &  VFX 
Michal Wojtasik
CG ARTIST 2
Slawek Jedrzejewski
SOUND DESIGN & MIX
Evgeny Ryabovol
SOUND MIX
Nick Morchang

 ‘Better Day’ - WRITTEN & PERFORMED 
Zikki - Bianju Morris
 ‘Jambo’ - WRITTEN & PERFORMED
Moroko Kalihari

DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER 
Chris Bouchard
POST-PRODUCTION PARTNER
Cinewacky    
POST-PRODUCTION PARTNER
Soumik Datta Arts
SPECIAL THANKS TO

Residents of Kibera
Freddy Okeke
Melanie Cura Daball
Soumik Datta
Soumilya Datta
Sangeeta Datta
David Durand-Delacre
Nikhil Anand
Anne Chataigne
Margo Hermans
Jack Sargent
Ana Baric
Sebastian Manhart
Miguel Moorcraft
Do you remember hiding under a tented bed-sheet as a kid? Voicing out explosions and propelling imaginary light-beams from plastic figurines in your hand?

Well – I was that kid. And superhero stories inspired me the most. Growing up, I realised how they could even be used to broach serious questions of purpose and morality, responsibility and power: beautiful, ennobling fantasies crafted to tell far deeper truths that were worthy of taking forward into our own lives. I aspired, one day, to make others think and feel in the same constructive way such stories had provoked me to.

In recent years – aside from rare (Nolan-esque) exceptions – most popular Marvel and DC franchises have unfortunately resorted to increasingly cut-out conflicts and extravagant VFX in place of depth and narrative coherence. 

So Dark Rising  began as an experiment – ambitious in scope but funded only by the generosity of visionary collaborators and a shoe-string budget. The objective: to see whether a superhero show could be created differently.

In it's world, we learn of Superiors – rich and dark characters, notably closer to villains than "heroes". Born out of disenfranchised communities, they discover formidable abilities that arise as an evolutionary response to traumatic pasts. This narrative structure is deliberate, and in the proposed series in development we explore how they are forced to rediscover and rebuild morality in a world where they could so easily rule supreme.
Stepping beyond the seemingly endless world of urban America, with its primarily caucasian leads, the series aims to champion the subaltern, offering characters informed by the complex and rich realities of minority life, while fostering empathy in presenting their struggles and aspirations as universal.

Ask yourself what would you really do with such formidable power? Would you finally be set free - from society's rules and your limitations - or would you be consumed? 

A hyper-realist tone, a global scope and a cinematic vision will set this show apart - always maintaining a narrative backdrop of contemporary issues.

In doing so, Dark Rising aims to become television’s first authentic superhero show.

There is no triumph-over-evil-climax, nor a simple thrill from a relentless hunt to reward viewers. Rather, in realising the cost to all sides, it is a catharsis derived from a bitter-sweet resolution: a world not of epic heroes and villains, but of human being struggling with power, fundamentally at war with themselves.

Sefu Sialo
Metal manipulation
powers
Damini Datta
Fire-wielding powers