Tag Archives: Blood Psalms

Showmax originals include first novela

Blood Psalms is a coproduction with France’s Canal+

African streamer Showmax is making its first telenovela, romantic comedy series and scripted West African original as part of a new slate of eight shows and films.

Showmax’s first telenovela, The Wife, is based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love, all of which tell the story of a Zulu crime family through the eyes of the criminals’ wives.

Each book will be adapted into 40 episodes of the 120-episode season, with South African prodco Stained Glass producing.

Romcom series Troukoors follows Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself. The show has been created by Louis Pretorius and Albert Snyman, the creators of Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde.

Ghana Jollof is Showmax’s first West African comedy. It features two Nigerians who move to Ghana and clash with their new environment. The series will be filmed across Lagos and Accra, with comedian Basketmouth exec producing.

As well as these shows, Showmax is also making its first epic fantasy series. A coproduction with French pay TV firm Canal+, Blood Psalms tells the story of the ascent to power of a teenage princess whose world is threatened by the gods. South Africa’s Yellowbone Entertainment is producing.

Also on the slate is a second season of Black Tax, a sitcom about a single mother who has just managed to make ends meet when her parents demand she take care of them, too. Tyler Perry’s BET Africa is behind the show.

Meanwhile, Showmax will host the first part of a film trilogy in 2022. Glasshouse is a post-apocalyptic movie from Kelsey Egan and Cape Town’s Local Motion Pictures in which one family does what it can to survive in a world where humans are affected by airborne dementia known as The Shred.

Elsewhere on the slate is family thriller Desert Rose, made by Quizzical Pictures. The show sees family reunion turn into a manhunt as the Greyling siblings scramble to settle their estranged father’s debt before it’s too late. Rohan Dickson, known for Showmax series Reyka, is the showrunner.

There’s also horror series Pulse, in which an international group of young game creators discover survival is not just a game when an electromagnetic pulse bomb turns their secure office high-rise into a battlefield. The series is the result of an international collaboration between global production and finance company Media Musketeers, UK-based ForLan Films and South Africa’s Red Mirror.

Finally, Afrikaans docuseries Seks sees couples and single people openly discuss their sex lives with a clinical psychologist. Sex workers, adult-shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies, and others all feature. The six-parter is being produced by media personality Rian van Heerden through South Africa’s Provoco.

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MultiChoice, Canal+ link for African drama

Blood Psalms will premiere in 2021

South Africa’s MultiChoice Group and France-based pay TV operator Canal+ are coproducing a 10-episode South African drama series.

Blood Psalms is based on a pre-colonial Xhosa legend and will debut next year on MultiChoice streaming service Showmax and Canal+’s African OTT platform MyCanal.

Shot in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and North West provinces of South Africa, Blood Psalms tells the story of a teenage African queen who battles a world-ending prophecy to guide her people through injustice and war.

Produced by Layla Swart and Jahmil XT Qubeka, co-owners of South African prodco Yellowbone Entertainment (Knuckle City), the series stars local actors including Albert Ibokwe Khoza, Andile Nebulane, Awethu Hleli, Ayanda Daweti, Ayanda Makayi and Bokang Phelane.

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment and connected video, said: “This massive coproduction highlights Showmax’s commitment to a dynamic approach to superior-quality content. The partnership with Canal+ also creates an environment that is ripe for invaluable skills exchange between the South African and French production teams.”

Fabrice Faux, chief content officer at Canal+ International, added: “This African story, inspired by a Xhosa legend, will carry our viewers into mythological and epic adventures. With an outstanding directing and production team and a talented cast, Blood Psalms promises to be a big phenomenon that will resonate in all of Africa and internationally.”

Swart said: “Every one of the actors selected brings their own unique ability to authentically translate this magical epic on to screen. The goal, for us, is to ensure that the golden thread of Africa’s stunning history really shines. The story of Blood Psalms not only entertains, but also contributes to the preservation of African culture and languages as authentically told by Africans, to be enjoyed by the world.”

The production was made possible by several key partners, including South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, MultiChoice flagship channel M-Net, the Eastern Cape Economic Development Corporation and the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, which supports South African entrepreneurs.

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