Tag Archives: M-Net

MTF Academy opens for applications

The MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF) Academy, established five years ago by African pay TV group MultiChoice, has started accepting applications for its upcoming training programme for 2023, set to be held in October.

Some 60 emerging filmmakers from southern, western and eastern African countries will be selected to be part of the 12-month fully funded programme, which is aimed at developing their television and film production skills.

The filmmakers will be taught topics ranging from direction to sound design and the business of film, as well as receiving workplace experience on some of MultiChoice channel M-Net’s top productions.

They will also get enhanced training experience from the Academy partnerships, with the likes of New York Film Academy, Henley Business School, Dolby and Canon.

The three new academy directors who will spearhead this year’s programme are Atinuke Babatunde (West Africa hub), Victoria Goro (East Africa hub) and Christopher Puta (Southern Africa hub).

Babatunde said: “This couldn’t be a more exciting opportunity for African film and TV content creators. There are so many stories on our continent that need to be told and documented with a sense of skill and passion that only a programme such as the MTF Academy can train young people to do. I can’t wait to be a part of this journey.”

“As someone passionate about training and knowledge sharing, there’s just nothing that can match the level of expertise and practical experience that the class of 2023 is set to gain. The fact that the MTF programme also results in alumni establishing production companies after graduation, thereby thriving in self-employment, tells you all you need to know about the success of this programme,” added Goro.

Puta, who believes the growth of Africa’s film and TV industry starts with providing young people with the opportunity to produce quality content, added: “By equipping students with what it takes to be world-class film and TV professionals, the MTF Academy programme is effectively raising the next generation of African storytellers and historians.”

MTF director Nwabisa Matyumza said: “The continued support from stakeholders, partners and students has been overwhelming, and we couldn’t be more excited to have reached our fifth year as one of the MultiChoice Group’s leading initiatives directly investing in young African filmmakers.”

To apply for the MTF Academy class of 2023, click here. Applications close on June 3.

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kykNET, Red Letter produce SA film

Hans Steek die Rubicon Oor (Hans Crosses the Rubicon)

Afrikaans television channel kykNET, owned by South African pay TV operator M-Net, and Stellenbosch-based film and TV prodco Red Letter Day Pictures have collaborated to produce a film called Hans Steek die Rubicon Oor (Hans Crosses the Rubicon).

The film is produced by Rudi van Rensburg and based on his book of the same name, with Corné van Rooyen directing. It follows a hopeful 90-year-old man named whose life is turned upside down when he is forced to move to a nursing home.

Actor Pierre van Pletzen, who plays the lead role, said: “There is so much pressure in society to stay young that I am excited to show the other side. I want to show how growing old on your own terms can be celebrated and can be very exciting. It is also a great privilege to work with some of South Africa’s greatest veteran actors to really bring Rudi’s book to life.”

Other cast members include Cronjé, June van Merch, Sandra Prinsloo, Nicola Hanekom, Diaan Lawrenson and Juan-Pierre Moller. The premiere date for Hans Steek die Rubicon Oor has yet to be announced.

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M-Net lines up South African drama

Desert Rose is directed by Cindy Lee

South African pay TV channel M-Net, part of MultiChoice Group, will premiere its latest African drama series in early June.

Eight-part series Desert Rose is filled with black comedy, suspense, crime and romance, according to the network, and is set on a remote farm in the Northern Cape.

Desert Rose is produced by Quizzical Pictures, directed by Cindy Lee and written by award-winning screenwriter and showrunner Rohan Dickson. It will premiere on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on June 2 at 20.30 and will also be available on demand.

Desert Rose tells the story of a disenfranchised and forgotten desert town through the eyes of one family. When the young son of an absent father refuses a request from the family’s benefactor, it sets off a series of escalating events as the family is forced to confront the mayhem that comes their way.

The cast includes Neil Sandilands, Amalia Uys, Kai Luke Brümmer, Christia Visser, Tinarie van Wyk, Daniah de Villiers, Brandon Daniels, Danny Ross, Roeline Daneel and Melt Sieberhagen.

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SuperSport, M-Net roll out SA rugby doc

Sub-Saharan African pay TV broadcaster SuperSport and pay TV channel M-Net have launched a rugby documentary series called Two Sides.

Marc Jury

The three-part series tells the story of the British & Irish Lions rugby team’s tour of South Africa last July and August and is described as a tale of sacrifice and courage, filled with drama, struggle and triumph.

Two Sides looks at the drama of the build-up to the tour, the Covid outbreaks in both camps, the impact of civil unrest and the tension of the down-to-the-wire finish.

Marc Jury, chief executive of MultiChoice-owned SuperSport, said: “The film is a heartfelt celebration of the game’s longest-standing test tour and the brotherhood that comes along with it. In the midst of unprecedented challenges and hardship, it is a reminder of the values of the game we love so dearly. The film is a story of sacrifice, courage and a belief in the power of sport.”

Two Sides was made by the producers of 2020 Springboks documentary Chasing the Sun and shows the environments some of the players emerged from, featuring footage of the friends and families of Maro Itoje, Pieter Steph Du Toit and Liam Williams.

The first episode of Two Sides will be broadcast on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on May 15 at 18.00 and on SuperSport at 19.00, while the remaining episodes air on May 22 and 29.

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My Kitchen Rules SA seeks fresh cooks

David Higgs (left) and J’Something

The South African version of Australian cooking competition format My Kitchen Rules is coming back for season four, which will premiere in September.

Broadcaster M-Net is on the lookout for the most talented home-cooking pairs to compete in the new season.

Those who make the cut will engage in an Instant Restaurant round where they host their competitors and two celebrity judges with a themed three-course dinner. Those who move on to the subsequent Challenge Round will go up against each other in various cooking challenges.

They will be judged by chef David Higgs and award-winning artist, cook, guitarist and vocalist J’Something, with the winners will receiving R1million (US$68,000).

J’Something said: “My Kitchen Rules South Africa gets better with each season because the calibre of home cooks also gets better and better. This past season, we saw that the pandemic and lockdowns really resulted in many people killing it in the kitchen, and we know that we can expect the same or possibly even better this time around.”

For a chance to show off your culinary skills and be one of the 10 teams, register here. Entries close on May 8.

My Kitchen Rules is an Australian competitive cooking gameshow that has broadcast on the Seven Network since 2010, produced by Seven Productions and distributed internationally by Banijay Rights. The format has been adapted locally in New Zealand by TVNZ along with broadcasters in the UK, US, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Georgia, Lithuania, Serbia and Israel.

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MasterChef SA’s new judges revealed

Justine Drake, Zola Nene and Gregory Czarnecki front the new MasterChef SA

MultiChoice-owned African pay TV network M-Net has revealed the new judges for returning cooking competition reality series MasterChef South Africa, which set for a fourth season after five years off-air.

The new judges are chefs Zola Nene and Gregory Czarnecki and food editor Justine Drake. The trio will be the culinary masters whose palates and expertise will guide 20 contestants to the ultimate R1m (US$66,000) prize and the coveted title of MasterChef.

According to M-Net, the judges, with their varied experience and viewpoints, will inject freshness into the new season of MasterChef SA, with Czarnecki bringing the perspective of an international chef and Nene and Drake the local experts.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video for MultiChoice, said: “We’re very excited to have one of our most-loved shows – and toughest of reality competitions – returning to our screen after some time away. We have always had a rich crop of home chefs to choose from, but the pandemic has certainly created more, and this is the perfect time for MasterChef South Africa to make a comeback.”

Commenting on having two women on the MasterChef SA panel, Dave De Bie, format consultant at Banijay, the company that owns the format, said: “We are focused on improving the gender balance in MasterChef judges worldwide. Over the last couple of years, we have increased the number of female judges and this is something we are continuing to improve upon.

“Out of 37 active markets, 26 now have female judges. We are delighted that MasterChef SA joins the likes of Israel, Norway, and Brazil with two female experts on their panel.”

The 20-episode series is produced by Cape Town-based production company Homebrew while the MasterChef format and programmes are represented internationally by Banijay Rights.

MasterChef South Africa S4 premieres on February 28 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 18.00 and the finale will air on March 31.

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M-Net meets Strangers You Know S2

African pay TV channel M-Net is gearing up to debut a second season of crime documentary series Strangers You Know.

Chwayitisa Futshane

The series, produced by Combined Artistic Productions, gives insights into murders committed in South Africa, including people involved in the case and the families affected.

The new season uncovers details about an additional four cases of South Africa’s most shocking murders and examines the deceit and betrayal that led to these that gripped the nation.

It includes insightful and emotional interviews with the friends and families at the heart of the stories and analysis from the lead investigators, forensic pathologists and prosecutors involved.

Chwayitisa Futshane, executive producer of the docuseries, said: “In a country such as ours, where violence, especially against women, is so rife, these are some of the stories that need to be told. In season two, the series really gets to grips with some of these crimes and, if nothing else, our viewers will be reminded that sometimes the most brutal killers are the strangers we know.”

Strangers You Know airs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on January 9 at 20.00.

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South Africa’s Legacy end with S2

Legacy is produced by Tshedza Pictures

South African telenovela Legacy will conclude with its second season, which is set to air next year.

Broadcaster M-Net said it had decided to end the show in order to explore new avenues and cater to viewers’ increasing desire for limited series.

Legacy producer Tshedza is scheduled to finish shooting the second season in February next year, with the show ending in September 2022.

Created by executive producers Phatutshedzo Makwarela and Gwidyon Benyon, Legacy focuses on the Price family and the struggle for power over their empire after the death of patriarch Sebastian.

Nomsa Philiso, executive head of programming at M-Net owner MultiChoice Group, said: “Our viewership surveys guide us to adapt our content to the evolving needs of our customers. While Legacy is a popular show, our M-Net 101 customers have indicated that they now want more limited series rather than long-running telenovelas. The success of our local strategy depends on how well we tune into what our customers would like to see on their screens.

“We would like to thank our loyal viewers on M-Net, DStv channel 101 and Showmax and assure them that we have exciting plans for our content for 2022. We will share more news on our local content offering in due course.”

In a joint statement, Makwarela and Beynon, co-owners of Tshedza, added: “Working with M-Net channel 101 has always been a dream for us as a company, and we thank the channel for their incredible support and encouragement in bringing Legacy to life.

“All our writers, crew members and actors have poured their hearts and souls into this project. We applaud MultiChoice Group for continuing to support local content and look forward to working on other exciting projects in the future.”

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M-Net boards Recipes for Love & Murder

Recipes for Love & Murder star Maria Doyle Kennedy (photo: Shane McCarthy)

South African network M-Net, AMC-owned streamer Acorn TV, Cape Town prodco Both Worlds Pictures and German distributor Global Screen have partnered on new drama series Recipes for Love & Murder.

Being shot across South Africa and Scotland, the show is based on Sally Andrew’s novel Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery. Both Worlds is producing in collaboration with Scottish indie Pirate Production.

Karen Jeynes, who has adapted the novel for TV, is also an executive producer along with Annie Griffin on the Scottish side, Christiaan Olwagen, star Maria Doyle Kennedy, Acorn’s MD Catherine Mackin, Lesley Pemberton, M-Net’s Yolisa Phahle, Allan Sperling and Jan du Plessis, and Both Worlds’ Thierry Cassuto and Karen Jeynes.

M-Net will hold exclusive rights to the series in Africa and Acorn TV will hold exclusive rights in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, while Telepool-owned Global Screen will handle distribution for the rest of the world. The series will premiere on M-Net’s channel 101 in March 2022 and throughout 2022 on Acorn TV.

Acorn’s Mackin said: “We look forward to bringing this first-ever TV dramatisation of Sally Andrew’s renowned novels to life. This series is a prime example of the kind of fascinating, masterfully written stories set around the globe which we’re proud to offer.”

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Int’l broadcasters take SA drama Reyka

Reyka stars Kim Engelbrecht

BritBox in North America, Channel 4 in the UK and HBO in Latin America are among the buyers to have acquired Reyka, Fremantle‘s first South African drama.

Commissioned by M-Net in South Africa, the contemporary crime thriller stars Kim Engelbrecht and Iain Glen and was coproduced with Harriet Gavshon of Quizzical and Serena Cullen of Serena Cullen Productions.

Following deals with RTL Group-owned Fremantle, the eight-part English-language drama series will be available in more than 80 territories with broadcasters including the CBC (Canada), SBS (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand), RTL (Germany), Cosmote TV (Greece), Sky Italia and Canal+ (Poland and France).

HBO in Latin America will launch Reyka in numerous countries following a pan-regional deal struck by Sheila Aguirre, executive VP of content distribution and format sales for Latin America, the Caribbean and Hispanic US at Fremantle, which boarded Reyka in 2018.

Other outlets to have acquired the series include Marjan Television (MENA Farsi), OSN Streaming (MENA Region), Hot (Israel), RTL Klub (Hungary), Viasat (Russia, CIS, Georgia, Ukraine) and Now TV (Hong Kong, Macau).

The series follows a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler who, haunted by her past, investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal.  Having been abducted as a child by a farmer, she is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa’s most notorious criminals and turn them inside out.

Julie Hodge, editorial director of global drama at Fremantle and executive producer of Reyka, said: “With compelling scripts, world-class performances and astonishing production values, it is not a surprise the series has performed excellently for M-Net, and I have no doubt that success will be emulated in the international market, cementing Fremantle as a key player in the English-language drama space.”

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NFVF picks Barakat for 2022 Oscars

Barakat

The National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) has chosen the movie Barakat as South Africa’s official submission for Best International Feature at the 94th Academy Awards next year.

Barakat is a 2020 South African family drama directed by Amy Jephta and produced by Ephraim Gordon. It deals with family problems where an aging matriarch aims to bring together her fractured family over Eid-al-Fitr to break the news about her new romance.

According to MultiChoice broadcaster M-Net, the movie is told in Afrikaaps, the widely spoken Cape dialect of the Afrikaans language, and Jephta is the fourth female director to be submitted to the Oscars by South Africa, and the first woman of colour.

The film stars Vinette Ebrahim, Joey Rasdien, Mortimer Williams, Keeno-Lee Hector, Danny Ross, Quanita Adams and Bonnie Mbuli.

Jephta said: “I am so proud that our small story about a family has reached as many people as it has. To be recognised by South Africa in this way is incredibly special after an extremely challenging year for our film industry.”

“This selection was totally unexpected, but it shows that everyone’s hard work on this project has paid off. This film was a blessing from the beginning and continues to be. It is our Barakat,” added Gordon.

Next year’s Oscars will be presented on March 27.

The movie was released in South African cinemas in May 2021 and on BoxOffice by pay TV platform DStv in June 2021. It has won seven international awards so far, including Best International Feature at the 2021 Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema and Best Narrative Feature at both the Motion Pictures International Film Festival and The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Festival in 2020.

Barakat was developed in partnership with kykNET, a MultiChoice-owned channel, and funded in association with The Department of Trade, Industry & Competition, the NFVF, The Industrial Development Corporation and Indigenous Film Distribution, the film’s South African distributor.

The movie can be watched on kykNET on December 18 at 20.00.

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M-Net brings back My Kitchen Rules SA

My Kitchen Rules SA

The South African version of Australian cooking competition reality show My Kitchen Rules is returning for a third season.

My Kitchen Rules SA is based on the Seven Network series devised and produced by Seven Studios, which debuted on Seven Network in 2010 and is distributed by Banijay Rights.

The third season of the South African adaptation will see five pairs of culinary hopefuls compete in a bid to impress their fellow competitors and celebrity judges, J’Something and David Higgs, with hopes of winning the R1m (US$68,500) grand prize.

According to M-Net, the five teams will battle it out over the next five weeks in the Instant Restaurant phase of the competition. The series is produced by Anton Burggraaf, its first season premiered in South Africa on M-Net in 2017 and in 2019, it won the for Best International Format Show.

My Kitchen Rules SA will air on September 19 at 18.00 on M-Net channel 101.

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M-Net’s MasterChef South Africa returns

MasterChef South Africa

Cooking competition reality series MasterChef South Africa is coming back for a fourth season on pay TV channel M-Net.

The search is on for 20 individuals who are passionate about food and cooking with excellent culinary skills to compete for a chance to win a grand prize of R1m (US$66,000).

South African citizens aged 18 years and over who wish to participate can apply here. The deadline for registration is September 8.

Jan du Plessis, director of M-Net channels, said: “Within the current landscape of the Covid-19 virus, we wanted to give our audience something familiar and comforting that felt like home.

“MasterChef SA was the perfect choice as both the local and the international versions have proven that the format is a firm favourite with our viewers. It’s a heart-warming and welcoming content.”

The 20-episode series will be produced by Cape Town-based production company Homebrew and shot in October and November. The MasterChef format and programmes are represented internationally by Banijay Rights.

MasterChef SA S4 will air from February 28, 2022 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) and also live-stream on the DStv app and on DStv catch-up through the DStv app or DStv Explora.

MasterChef South Africa is the local version of UK cooking show franchise MasterChef, first aired by the BBC in 1990. The format has since been produced locally in 60 countries.

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Reyka to premiere at Monte-Carlo

Serial killer thriller Reyka

South African crime drama Reyka will premiere at the 60th edition of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

The 8×60’ series is from Serena Cullen Productions and Quizzical Pictures for M-Net, MultiChoice Africa Group’s flagship channel, with global distribution handled by Fremantle.

It is directed by Zwelesizwe Ntuli and stars Kim Engelbrecht (The Flash), Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) and Thando Thabethe (Housekeepers).

Rohan Dickson, the only South African nominated for a Palm d’Or in screenwriting, for his film Husk, is the screenwriter and showrunner. UK-based Jake Riddell (Death in Paradise, Suspects) joins Dickson as story consultant and writer.

Reyka follows the story of a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler who is haunted by her past. She returns to her home town to solve a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer among the sugarcane fields of Kwa-Zulu-Natal.

Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival, which this year takes place from June 18 to 22, said: “It is my greatest pleasure to open this 60th anniversary with the series Reyka. Beginning the festival with a South African production has a very special touch, especially in light of the close ties that exist between South Africa and the Principality of Monaco. This dynamic drama looks set to be a global hit and we’re thrilled to be able to kick off our festival with this worldwide launch.”

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Our Perfect Wedding to return in July

M-Net’s South African wedding reality show Our Perfect Wedding will return for a new season this July.

Nomsa Philiso

The series follows one engaged couple each week and captures their journey to the altar, with the couple ticking off items on their wish list to get the perfect wedding.

Airing on M-Net’s Mzansi Magic, the show is produced by Connect TV and hosted by Khanyisa Titus.

Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, said: ‘The channel is excited that the show, Our Perfect Wedding, has constantly been topping the trends list and is returning in July.

“Our viewers can expect to be treated to new, fresh and exciting content when couples open their homes to the viewers and into their wedding plans in order to share their love stories.”

Our Perfect Wedding started back in 2011 on DStv’s Mzansi Magic. The format was adapted for Nigeria in March 2019.

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Mzansi Magic’s SA drama Gomora set for S2

Gomora was ordered for Mzansi Magic

M-Net’s South African original drama series Gomora is returning for a second season this month.

The series, produced by Seriti Films, was commissioned for the MultiChoice-owned channel’s local-interest network Mzansi Magic. It stars Connie Chiume, Siphesihle Ndaba, Ntobeko Sishi, Thembi Seete and Zolisa Xaluva.

Season one told the story of two families with different lifestyles and how their lives were intertwined by a tragedy, while season two will follow the pain of the same two families as they break apart and come together again.

Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, said: “After Gomora raked in high viewership numbers in its debut season, viewers are in for a treat, as the storyline looks set to raise emotions even higher as their favourites will find themselves squaring up against each other in this extraordinary tale of two families at the heart of Alexandra.

“Viewers are also in for a big surprise as one of the main characters in the telenovela will die and this will plunge the two families into chaos, heartbreak and pandemonium.”

Series producer Lulu Hela tweeted: “Our passion project Gomora has been renewed for season two. Grateful to our exceptionally talented and hardworking cast and crew for creating magic everyday. Grateful to our fans and supporters, thank you for loving our show as much as we do. The new season is said to bring tragedy that will shock viewers and completely change the dynamic of the two main families. It promises to be a story of betrayal, love and crime.”

Gomora S2 will debut on April 26 on Mzansi Magic DStv channel 161 at 19.30.

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M-Net orders Goalpost, Quizzical drama

South African pay TV network M-Net has ordered a new police series titled Detective Cooper from Australia’s Goalpost Pictures and local prodco Quizzical Pictures.

Malla Nunn

The series is an adaptation of Malla Nunn’s novel A Beautiful Place To Die, part of the Detective Emmanuel Cooper series of books set in South Africa.

Detective Cooper is a white detective in the apartheid era who is forced to conceal his mixed-race heritage.

Goalpost initially optioned the rights to four of the novels last April, while Quizzical Pictures is known for award-winning series Intersexions.

James McNamara and Amy Jephta have adapted the book for TV, while Goalpost’s Sarah Christie is development producer.

The drama is executive produced by Nimrod Geva for Quizzical and by Kylie du Fresne and Rosemary Blight for Goalpost.

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M-Net, MultiChoice add to Real Housewives

Real Housewives of Durban

Pay TV operator MultiChoice and its flagship channel M-Net have collaborated to create a new version of US reality franchise Real Housewives set in Durban.

The Real Housewives of Durban, based on the NBCUniversal format which originally airing on US cable channel Bravo, is set to debut on 1Magic DStv channel 103 on January 29.

The 14-episode series is produced by Let It Rain Films and will show viewers a glimpse into the glamorous lives of some of Durban’s wealthy ladies who engage in lavish consumption, extravagant lifestyles and dramatic relationships.

Nomsa Philiso, director of local entertainment channels at M-Net, said: “Reality TV has become our most followed genre, not only because it gives viewers authenticity and entertainment, but resonates with their lived experiences as it gives them a glance into a world in which they aspire to live one day.”

The Real Housewives of Durban is coming on the heels of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, which ran on MultiChoice channels for two seasons from August 2018.

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M-Net, Fremantle shoot SA drama Reyka

Crime drama Reyka si being filmed in South Africa

Pay TV channel M-Net and global producer and distributor Fremantle have begun production on eight-part contemporary crime drama Reyka, which will debut on M-Net (DStv channel 101) in July 2021.

The international coproduction is being filmed in South Africa and will be distributed globally by Fremantle.

Reyka is the story of a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler, played by Kim Engelbrecht (The Flash), who is haunted by an incident from her past when she was abducted by a farmer, played by Iain Glen. She investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal.

The show continues M-Net’s moves into international coproduction, after its 2019 drama Trackers, coproduced with HBO’s sister channel Cinemax and German public broadcaster ZDF.

Nkateko Mabaso, CEO of M-Net, said: “MultiChoice continues to lead the continuous productions of high-quality African television content that goes beyond our borders.

“This partnership with Fremantle is a brilliant way to showcase our prowess as DStv is Africa’s most-loved storyteller, and we particularly relish pairing our local talent with international stars.”

Julie Hodge, editorial director of global drama at Fremantle, added: “As production commences on our first ever South African drama, this is a proud moment for Fremantle and M-Net. The series has been in development for many years and we hope it will be the first of many successful projects in the region.

“Reyka is a rich and compelling story and we couldn’t be happier to have Kim and Iain onboard to bring these complex characters to life. We are confident it will be one of our stand-out international dramas for 2021.”

The series also stars Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Hamilton Dhlamini, Kenneth Nkosi, Nokuthula Ledwaba, Desmond Dube, Gerald Stein, Ian Roberts, Fiona Ramsey, David Butler and Jessica Hayes.

Reyka was created and written by award-winning screenwriter Rohan Dickson (Husk, Welcome to Hawaii), who has worked with South Africa’s major broadcasters and been a showrunner on highly successful dramas including Scandal, Zone 14, Jacob’s Cross, and High Rollers.

He was also the executive producer and showrunner on Isidingo, a long-running multi-award-winning drama series with a huge fan base across Africa.

The series is directed by Zee Ntuli (Hard to Get) and Catharine Cooke (The Girl from St Agnes). It is jointly produced by Serena Cullen for Serena Cullen Productions (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Cold Feet) in the UK and Harriet Gavshon for Emmy-nominated Quizzical Pictures in South Africa.

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MultiChoice rolls out novela channel

Battleground

African pay TV giant MultiChoice Group and its flagship channel M-Net are set to launch a new telenovela channel called Novela Magic on the DStv platform.

Set to debut on November 27 at 18.00, the channel will provide African telenovelas and also honour the vast range of cultures and languages on the continent through a diversity of original home-grown stories and local creative talent.

Nkateko Mabaso

Novela Magic will launch in phases, starting with the Southern African region for subscribers to DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact and Family packages. Titles in the telenovela collection include Nigerian series Unbroken (260×30’), Battleground (410×30’) and Forbidden (260×30’), and Zambian soap Zuba (180×30’), all from MultiChoice Studios.

According to MultiChoice programming executive Nkateko Mabaso, it is the growth and success of local storytelling that has compelled the business to launch an African telenovela channel.

“For over 30 years M-Net has been bringing to audiences across the African continent compelling stories that harness the imagination of our viewers while also showcasing the vast talent that is harboured on the continent,” said Mabaso.

“We want to continue this legacy of showcasing the best African stories with themes that resonate and engage our viewers, hence the launch of this new channel Novela Magic.

“West Africa and Southern Africa are synonymous with telenovela storytelling and these regions will now be able to share their wonderful crafts with other African regions on one channel and stories created in the language of the country of origin will be dubbed into English.”

Novela Magic will air on DStv channel 165.

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