African TV execs head to Content London

By Content Nigeria reporter
November 17, 2023

Cocktail hour at Content London 2022

African programming will be in focus at the upcoming Content London development market and conference, organised by Content Nigeria’s parent company C21Media and taking place at the end of this month.

Content London, now in its 11th year, is the biggest programming development event in the industry calendar and sees more than 3,000 industry executives at one event, networking and agreeing coproduction deals for new programming. This year the event takes place between November 27 and 30 in the UK capital.

One of the key sessions on the Wednesday is titled Producing & Coproducing with Africa and includes executives from MultiChoice, Canal+ International, AfricaXP, Known Associates Entertainment and Good Karma Fiction discussing issues and opportunities around coproductions with African partners.

Elsewhere at the event, Hot Properties, the Content London strand that aims to lift the lid on exciting new scripted shows about to hit the market, has included a number of African projects to showcase to potential buyers.

Three projects set in Africa are in the Hot Properties: Africa mix. The first is Quizzical Pictures and Fremantle’s White Lies, an eight-part crime thriller set in Cape Town starring Natalie Dormer, greenlit by South African channel M-Net. Dormer plays a journalist who investigates the murder of her estranged brother in Cape Town but finds herself at loggerheads with a veteran detective played by Brendon Daniels (Four Corners).

Content London venue The Lighterman

Next up is Johannesburg-based Ochre Moving Pictures and Red Arrow Studios International’s Soon Comes Night, a 6×60’ gritty post-Apartheid crime drama for SABC and for which Netflix has African rights. It follows a liberation hero turned heist king and a broken Apartheid cop seeking redemption who find their lives interlocked.

The third project is Cape Town-based Both Worlds Pictures’ The Morning After, produced in association with Paris-based Paradoxal , Amazon Studios and SWR Fernsehen for ARD FabFiction. The show will premiere in sub-Saharan Africa on Prime Video and in Germany on ARD’s streaming service Mediatek.

The Morning After stars British actress Amara Okereke (In The Lost Lands, Red Rose) as an aspiring singer who gets adopted by a group of local young misfits after she washes up 6,000 miles from home, alone and naked on a Cape Town beach, with all of her possessions missing and a story that’s clearly got a few holes.

The Hot Properties: Africa session will shine a light on the three upcoming African dramas expected to have an impact on the international market over the next 18 months. Delegates will hear how the series were created, developed, packaged and sold from those closest to the project.

Also during Content London, the much-anticipated annual Drama Series Pitch – which sees writers and producers pitching new drama projects to a panel of judges in the hope of winning development finance – will include two African projects.

Gloria is from Blackverse Studios of Nigeria and is a political drama series set in Nigeria during the 1980s. It follows the eponymous protagonist, who is arrested for smuggling drugs from Africa to London, then dies in jail in suspicious circumstances. The seven-part series is set in Lagos, London and Colombia, and is estimated to cost US$2.5m.

Boy Under Water, meanwhile, is from Nagvlug Films of South Africa. In this crime thriller, a small-town community closes ranks when the lifeless body of a black teenage boy washes up in an affluent white resort. With an estimated total budget of €3.8m for the series, Nagvlug Films is seeking around 50% of that to close the finance, as well as a global distribution partner.

More information on the Content London event can be found here.