Tag Archives: Netflix

Namaste Wahala set for Netflix debut

Namaste Wahala was both produced and directed by Hamisha Daryani Ahuja

Indian-Nigerian movie Namaste Wahala, which should have launched in cinemas last April but was delayed due to the pandemic, will now be released on Valentine’s Day on streaming service Netflix.

The romantic comedy is produced by Indian-born businesswoman-turned-filmmaker Hamisha Daryani Ahuja and revolves around a cross-cultural love story between an Indian and a Nigerian.

Shot entirely in Lagos, Nigeria, the classic love story features a Nigerian woman, played by Ini Dima Okojie, and her Indian love interest, portrayed by Ruslaan Mumtaz. They fall in love despite the differences in their cultural backgrounds.

Ahuja, producer and director of the movie, took to Instagram to reveal the news. “I am very excited about my movie Namaste Wahala going to the whole world through Netflix,” she posted.

“The movie showcases the beauty of Nigeria and the wealth of talent in Nollywood. The cast and crew were absolutely fantastic to work with. The Indian and Nigerian cultures seem very different but are essentially the same. They both value family, tradition and respect. Both cultures also have beautiful colours, fashion, music and food.

“It was amazing to see how beautifully the two cultures, which I hold very close to my heart, came together in this fusion movie. I can’t wait for all of you to watch it.”

It features actors from both countries, including veteran Nollywood star Joke Silva plus Richard Mofe Damijo, Ini-Dima Okojie, Ruslaan Mumtaz, MI Abaga, Broda Shaggi, Segal Sujata, Adaora Lumina, Ibrahim Suleiman and Big Brother Naija’s Frodd.

Namaste Wahala is the maiden production of Nigeria-based production company Forever 7 Entertainment, founded by Ahuja.

tagged in: , , ,

Netflix cancels Queen Sono due to Covid

African original Queen Sono was cancelled due to Covid-19

Global streaming platform Netflix has cancelled African original series Queen Sono, reversing its initial decision to renew the show due to “trying times” under Covid-19.

The six-episode first season of the South African crime drama series was filmed across multiple countries including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Tanzania and was released on February 28 this year.

The show was created by director and screenwriter Kagiso Lediga and produced by Diprente Films. It followed the story of intelligence agency field operative Queen Sono (played by Quantico star Pearl Thusi) who sets out to uncover the mystery behind her mother’s death.

In April, the show – Netflix’s first African series – was renewed for a second season but the streamer has now reversed that decision.

Lediga explained: “We wrote a beautiful story that spanned the continent but unfortunately could not be executed in these current trying times.”

In a statement, Netflix said: “We’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with season 2 of Queen Sono. We are incredibly proud of the Diprente team for sharing their audacious vision and bringing it to life with Netflix.

“A huge thank-you to our fans across the world for the love shared for our first African original series. Netflix is also grateful to the amazing efforts shown by the cast and crew for their stellar efforts in creating this show for our members around the world.”

tagged in: , , , ,

Netflix, Realness Institute set up writers lab

Global streaming service Netflix has partnered with African filmmaking organisation Realness Institute on an episodic content development lab for writers of series.

Dorothy Ghettuba

Submissions will be taken between November 30 and January 31, 2021 and are open to writers in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria who have film and TV experience, fiction or factual, in any language.

Six writers will be selected from the submissions to work on projects that will be developed and commissioned by Netflix while they will be paid a stipend of US$2,000 per month to develop their concepts in series format from June to September 2021. For updates, click here.

Dorothy Ghettuba, head of African original programming at Netflix, said: “We strongly believe that Africa has a wealth of untold stories. As we grow our slate of originals in Africa, partnerships with organisations like Realness will help us achieve our goal of investing in writers who will bring diverse genres of authentic, local stories that will ensure our audience members see their lives reflected on screen.”

Mehret Mandefro, director of development and partnerships at Realness Institute, added: “This programme is a response to the dramatically changing broadcasting ecosystem which has a very important role to play in building a thriving media ecosystem in local markets and providing episodic creators with distribution opportunities.”

Elias Ribeiro, co-founder and creative director at Realness Institute, said: “We had fun shaping the programme with the Netflix team. We all share a love for storytelling and Netflix’s writer-centric approach is very much in line with our ethos.”

Realness was founded in 2015 to support the development of African content. It has delivered a yearly Screenwriters’ Residency and in 2020 hosted the first Creative Producer Indaba, a year-long trainee programme for development execs, in association with EAVE, International Film Festival Rotterdam’s IFFR Pro and the Sundance Institute.

tagged in: , , ,

Netflix to debut SA’s Kings of Joburg

Kings of Joburg comes from  Connie Ferguson and Shona Ferguson 

Global streaming platform Netflix will debut South African crime drama Kings of Joburg on December 4.

Kings of Joburg is an action-drama series with a layer of dark fantasy and elements of the African occult. The six-part series delves into legacy building, fragmented family structures, treacherous brotherhoods and the effects of crime on families and society at large.

The show is produced by South African TV production duo Connie Ferguson (Generations, Rockville) and Shona Ferguson (Generations, The Gift) of Ferguson Films in partnership with Samad Davis of US-based Visionary Media.

It stars Shona Ferguson as a charming, prolific businessman who leads the family business. However, under the lavish suits and ties is a man hiding a deep dark secret. It also stars Zolisa Xaluva as an ex-convict who finds himself having to choose between the life that got him in jail and honouring his responsibilities to the legacy of a crime family.

Other cast members include TK Sebothoma, Buhle Samuels, Angela Masire, Tsholofelo Matshaba, SK Khoza, Abdul Khoza, Nnekwa Tsajwa and Cindy Mahlangu.

On adding Kings of Joburg to Netflix’s slate of licensed series, the streamer’s director of licensing and coproductions in Africa, Ben Amadasun, said: “At Netflix, we continuously look for opportunities to create long-term partnerships with the best production partners in South Africa and beyond, as part of our ongoing efforts to bring a diversity of best-in-class African stories, across every genre.”

Shona Ferguson said: “When I created Kings of Joburg, I wanted to root the show in elements of love, family, conflict and power. The premise of the series is centred on the question, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ and this narrative is explored in all six episodes.

Connie Ferguson added: “We’re living in exciting times where the world is becoming smaller and smaller. What used to be out of reach is now a stone’s throw away. With Kings of Joburg, we are taking South Africa and Africa to the world and bringing the world to South Africa. It’s a ‘United States of the World’ show, bringing together talent from America and the continent. It was an honour to work with Netflix to bring to life this passion project.”

Davis said: “Working between Hollywood and across Africa over the decades, I’ve been able to see firsthand the enormous influence and impact Hollywood has had on the hearts and minds of people across Africa. I am honoured to be part of Kings of Joburg because through it and through our partnership with Netflix, we are providing African talent, both in front of the camera and behind it, the opportunity to be a part of their own Hollywood production.”

tagged in: ,

Kenya’s 40 Sticks to hit Netflix

40 Sticks is set in Nairobi

Global streaming platform Netflix is set to premiere Kenyan thriller movie 40 Sticks later this month.

Debuting on November 20, the 90-minute film is set in Nairobi and was created and produced by director Victor Gatonye.

Based on a fictional story by Frank G Maina and written by Voline Ogutu, it revolves around a group of death row prisoners trapped in a crashed prison bus striving to stay alive while a mysterious killer is lurking in the shadows.

The film stars Robert Agengo, Xavier Ywaya, Bilal Mwaura, Andreo Kamau, Cajetan Boy, Arabron Nyyneque and Shiviske Shiviski.

Gatonye said: “40 Sticks, which is in Sheng, Swahili and English, is told in our language as we see it through our many eyes. Audiences will enjoy cracking the mystery and twists.”

Executive producer Fakii Liwali added: “I got into this project when I noticed a gap in the film industry and chose to explore it. We picked a rare genre for Kenya and ran with it. The team did very well, if I may say so myself. We are excited that we now get to show Kenya and the world what Kenya is capable of, and we hope Kenyans will give us a chance to watch the film when it premieres.”

40 Sticks was produced by SensePlay in partnership with Film Studios Kenya, Bingi Media and Ogopa Inc.

tagged in: ,

Netflix to premiere SA’s Riding with Sugar

Riding with Sugar comes from Sunu Gonera

South African feature film Riding with Sugar is set to premiere on streaming platform Netflix in November.

Written and directed by award-winning Zimbabwean filmmaker Sunu Gonera, Riding with Sugar tells the story of a young refugee, played by British actor Charles Mnene (Ahead of the Class, Holby City, Doctors), who has dreams of winning a BMX cycling championship as a means to finding a better life.

The film also stars British-Nigerian actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim (Black Sails, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hotel Rwanda) and British actor Simona Brown (The Night Manager, Guilt).

“We live in exciting times where stories by Africans have a platform to make our voices heard – our truth, dreams and aspiration are being told in ways that find credence abroad, and Netflix is leading this movement globally for African storytellers,” Gonera said.

Ben Amadasun, Netflix’s director of content acquisition and coproductions in Africa, added: “Our aim is to be strategic partners for Africa’s creative industry. We’ll continue to create new partnerships that will enhance our library with a wide variety of powerful, engaging stories from across the continent. Sunu Gonera’s Riding with Sugar is certainly one we’re proud to add to our slate.”

tagged in: ,

African SVoD subs to quadruple

African SVoD subscriptions are on the rise for services such as Showmax, Netflix and iRoko, according to recently released data.

According to UK-based Digital TV Research, Africa will have 12.96 million SVoD subscriptions by 2025, up from 2.75 million at the end of 2019. South Africa will account for three million by that year, to take its total to 4.3 million, while Nigeria will add 2.1 million to make a total of 2.73 million.

Netflix accounted for 45% of the region’s SVoD subscribers by the end of 2019 and the US company will retain its share by 2025, which was forecast to be 5.7 million subscribers, up from 1.23 million in 2019.

“Local player Showmax will add more than a million paying subscribers, partly due to the launch of its Pro platform and its lower prices for mobile subscribers. It will reach many more homes as a free extension for its pay TV subscribers,” added Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

Global streaming giant Netflix, which has commissioned more locally produced content and shows that depict the cultures and experiences of ordinary Africans, has revealed plans to introduce cheaper mobile-only subscriptions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa in order to strengthen its presence in the country and the region as a whole.

Still in its trial phase, Netflix intends expanding the mobile-only contracts permanently if the trials, which began in South Africa and Egypt, become a success.

It is, however, offering subscribers N1,200 (US$2.65) a month for its mobile-only service, well below the N2,900 it has been charging for its most basic account.

tagged in: , , , ,

Netflix to add more Nigerian content

Global streaming platform Netflix is adding more Nollywood content to its service, after signing deals with Nigerian producers and distributors for one drama series and three films.

The films include Kunle Afolayan’s Citation, which will launch on November 6 exclusively and globally on Netflix. It follows the story of a young postgraduate student who experiences sexual harassment from a lecturer and stars Ini Edo, Joke Silva, Temi Otedola, Gabrie Afolayan and Adjetey Anang.

The movie King of Boys 2 will also debut in 2021. It follows a businesswoman and crime boss who is drawn into a power struggle that threatens all she holds dear. It stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Nse Ikpe Etim and Efe Iwara and is the sequel to director Kemi Adetiba’s 2018 crime thriller King of Boys.

Young-adult series Far From Home, produced by Lagos prodco Inkblot Productions, will also launch on the service.

The six-episode series, created by Chinaza Onuzo and Dami Elebe, follows the story of a charismatic teenager and talented artist form a poor family. His dreams suddenly appear within reach when a prestigious scholarship to the most exclusive school in the country catapults him into the luxurious world of Nigeria’s top 1%.

The series will be directed by Chinaza Onuzo, Tope Oshin and Niyi Akinmolayan and will star Funke Akindele.

Onuzo said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Netflix team to tell the story of Nigerian youth on a global scale. We cannot wait to share with the world what it feels like to grow up in one of the most dynamic countries on the planet.”

tagged in: , , , , ,

Netflix lines up first EbonyLife feature

Oloture centres on human trafficking in Nigeria

Netflix is set to premiere its next original Nigerian film, Oloture, on October 2, the first title produced for the global streamer by Nigeria’s EbonyLife Films.

The film will be made available in more than 190 countries by the SVoD giant, marking the first time the film will be seen by the public, aside from private screenings in cities such as LA and Lagos.

Executive produced by Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife TV, and written by Yinka Ogun and Craig Freimond, Oloture tells the story of a young, naïve, female journalist who goes undercover to expose the shady business of human trafficking in Nigeria.

The film was selected to screen in October 2019 at the prestigious JCC Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia, and it aims to put the spotlight on a current African crisis told by creatives from the region.

Announcing this news on Instagram, Abudu said: “We are super-excited about our first Netflix original feature film. A project dear to our hearts.”

She added that Oloture may well be EbonyLife’s most important film to date. “We had to make it. Human trafficking is a global problem, with trafficking networks flourishing across Africa through the exploitation of hundreds of thousands of migrants.

“According to the UN, more than 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders annually – looking for a better life, but ending up in forced labour, domestic servitude or sexual slavery. Oloture is another example of us telling the African story from our perspective.”

The film was directed by Kenneth Gyang and stars Nollywood actors including Sharon Ooja, Omoni Oboli, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Omowunmi Dada, Kemi ‘Lala’ Akindoju, Wofai Fada, Pearl Okorie and Omawumi Megbele.

Oloture is the second Nigerian original feature film for Netflix after it announced its move into Nollywood film production last year. Its first Nollywood movie was 2019’s Lionheart, produced by The Entertainment Network.

EbonyLife Films has produced seven feature films so far: Fifty, The Wedding Party, The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, Chief Daddy, Your Excellency and Oloture. Three of these – The Wedding Party, The Wedding Party 2 and Chief Daddy – are the highest grossing movies of all time at the Nigerian box office.

The company has also produced over 5,000 hours of original television shows, including Fifty, Castle & Castle, Sons of the Caliphate and On the Real, all of which are now available on Netflix.

tagged in: , , , ,

Lagos gov’t suspends LSFVCB director

The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has suspended the executive secretary of the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB) for imposing a 5% tax on producers and digital platforms including Netflix and Iroko TV.

Adedayo Thomas

Gbenga Omotosho, spokesman for the state government and commissioner for information and strategy, said Bamidele Balogun acted without authorisation and was therefore suspended.

In a statement, the goverment said: “There is no levy on audio and visual contents of all physical and digital platforms in Lagos State. The executive secretary, Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, Mr Bamidele Balogun, is said to have announced a 5% levy.

“The government hereby dissociates itself from the said announcement in the media. The executive secretary, who was not authorised to make such an announcement, has been suspended, pending an administrative enquiry.”

He added that the Sanwo-Olu administration was aware of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry and other sectors of the economy and a Federal High Court had barred the LSFVCB from levying film and video producers.

In June, Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court ruled that the LSFVCB cannot collect taxes at the same time as the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), as it would amount to double taxation. Despite this, Balogun wrote letters to several digital platforms, including Netflix and Iroko TV, demanding the 5% levy.

A letter addressed to Jason Njoku, MD of Iroko TV, dated August 31 reads: “We hereby request for immediate payment of the 5% levy on all audio and visual content produced, sold, distributed, marketed, exhibited, streamed, downloaded and shared across all physical and digital platform situate, lying and being within Lagos State.”

Balogun, who had earlier said that producers who failed to register would face severe sanctions by the board, declined to speak about the matter when contacted.

Adedayo Thomas, executive secretary of the NFVCB, said the new levy by the state government was wrong and would obstruct the growth of the sector.

“There is an existing court judgment on that matter. The move is wrong and I will be meeting with representatives of the state soon to look into the issue,” he said.

The Audio Visual Rights Society of Nigeria and the president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor, questioned the Lagos State government for going ahead with the levy despite a court judgment and claimed that the new levy would be challenged again in court.

tagged in: , , , , , ,

EbonyLife shows to debut on Netflix

Political drama series The Governor

A line-up of original productions from Nigerian pay TV broadcaster EbonyLife TV will be rolled out on global streaming platform Netflix this month.

They include The Governor, a drama series about the deputy governor of Savannah State who finds herself suddenly entangled in a web of political intrigue. It stars Samuel Abiola Robinson, Caroline Chikezie and Bimbo Manuel.

Dere: An African Fairytale, meanwhile, is an adaptation of classic Brothers Grimm story Cinderella. It stars Gbenro Ajibade, Weruche Opia, Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey, Carol King, Emmanuel Ikubese and Shaffy Bello.

The third EbonyLife production heading to Netflix is Ojo’s in D’House, a sitcom set around the shenanigans of a middle-class Lagos family.

The shows will debut on Netflix on August 8, 15 and 22 respectively.

The partnership with Netflix comes after EbonyLife CEO Mo Abudu announced on social media last month that the company would be ditching its linear channels on pay platform DStv in favour of on-demand services including its own app EbonyLife ON.

tagged in: , , , ,

Chief Daddy 2 set for Netflix

Chief Daddy was released in 2018

Netflix has ordered a sequel to 2018 Nollywood comedy film Chief Daddy, made by Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Films.

Chief Daddy 2 will follow on from Chief Daddy, which was directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, written by Bode Asiyanbi and produced by Abudu and Temidayo Abudu.

The first film followed the drama among a billionaire industrialist’s family and staff after his sudden death. It starred popular Nollywood actors including Funke Akindele Bello, Kate Henshaw, Nkem Owoh, Joke Silva, Patience Ozokwor, Richard Mofe Damijo and Racheal Oniga.

Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Films parent EbonyLife Media, announced the sequel on her instagram page, writing: “I am pleased to announce that EbonyLife Films, the creators and producers of Chief Daddy in partnership with Netflix will be bringing you Chief Daddy 2. It’s exclusive to Netflix globally and will be coming to you in 2021.

“Remember our star-studded cast, they are all super excited about bringing you the sequel.”

tagged in: , , ,

Netflix, SASFED create TV relief fund

Global streaming giant Netflix has partnered with the South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), to create a Covid-19 film and TV relief fund for South African creatives.

Unathi Malunga

The partnership will provide a one-time, short-term emergency relief grant to below-the-line workers such as electricians, carpenters, hair-and-makeup artists, drivers, costume designers and many other freelancers who are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis.

Workers and South Africa’s creative community will be eligible to apply for the R15,000 (US$900) one-time benefit from August 3 by filling out an application at investment fund manager Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za) or by mailing in applications.

SASFED executive director Unathi Malunga said: “SASFED is delighted about the announcement that the Netflix Covid-19 film and television relief fund will provide relief for workers in the screen sector who were not eligible for other available relief funds. The SA economy has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to struggling industry professionals. We hope other potential partners will follow Netflix’s example and support SASFED’s broader initiatives which offer assistance to industry professionals across the whole value chain – an initiative undertaken by industry, for the industry. SASFED applauds Netflix’s support of the local screen sector during the global crisis.”

Sisanda Henna

Sisanda Henna, IPO co-chair, added: “Following months of extreme hardship for most of our sector, the IPO is overjoyed that Netflix is providing this desperately needed relief for those most hard hit by the pandemic – the industry’s below-the-line freelancers to whom no other relief has been available.

“This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the South African film and TV production industry, and we welcome them with wide-open arms as a partner in our broader efforts to support the screen sector.”

Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for African originals, said: “The South African TV and film community has been dealing with the effects this pandemic has caused to their livelihoods because of the continuous disruptions to local productions. Thank you to SASFED, with the support of IPO, for collaborating with us in our efforts to provide short-term relief to the hardest-hit workers from the local creative industry, who most need our support in these unprecedented times.”

The streaming service has donated more than R8m to aid below-the-line workers whose productions were suspended due to the pandemic. In March, Netflix announced a US$100m hardship fund to help the hardest-hit workers in the creative community across the world affected by the pandemic, which has since been increased to US$150m.

tagged in: , ,

Castle & Castle S2 in the works

Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Media is developing a second season of its legal drama Castle & Castle.

The first run, which was picked up by global streamer Netflix in February, was directed by Tope Oshin, Niyi Akinmolayan and Kenneth Gyang and followed a happy couple, Remi (Dakore Egbuson-Akande) and Tega (Richard Mofe-Damijo), who ran a successful legal firm in Lagos.

Abudu, EbonyLife Media’s CEO, took to Instagram to make the announcement saying: “Super-excited about this month of July. Such great news to share with you all. Guess what guys – Castle & Castle, Nigeria’s first legal procedural series did so well it’s getting a season two and it’s exclusive to Netflix. We are in development. It will be coming to you in 2021.”

The series cast includes Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Eku Edewor, Deyemi Okanlawon, Etim Effiong, Dorcas Shola Fapson and media personality Denola Grey.

The show is one of EbonyLife’s Afropolitan projects that reflect African issues and contemporary African life.

tagged in: , ,

Netflix lines up SA’s Seriously Single

Seriously Single is set in Johannesburg

South African movie Seriously Single has been picked up by global streamer Netflix, which will make it available at the end of this month.

Seriously Single comes from Johannesburg’s Burnt Onion Productions and was released earlier this year. Written by Lwazi Mvusi (Farewell Ella Bella), the film was produced and directed by Burnt Onion MD Katleho Ramaphakela (Bedford Wives) and creative director Rethabile Ramaphakela (Bedford Wives).

The Johannesburg-set film follows two best friends: Dineo, a romantic social media expert who yearns for love and a fairytale marriage, and Noni, a commitment-phobe who finds herself falling for an unlikely man.

Fulu Mugovhani (Scandal, Isidingo) stars as Dineo, with Tumi Morake – an actor and writer best known for being the first African woman to have her own show on Netflix, WTF Tumi – plays Noni.

Seriously Single will become available on Netflix on July 31. The streamer has previously pledged to diversify its content with films and series from various cultural hot spots, and recently ordered a second season of South African teen drama series Blood & Water.

tagged in: ,

Netflix, Abudu link for Nigerian originals

Nigerian producer Mo Abudu has signed a deal with Netflix that will see her develop original titles for the streaming giant.

Mo Abudu

Under the partnership, Abudu and her EbonyLife prodco will create two Netflix original series and multiple Netflix-branded films.

The deal will also result in screen adaptations of literary works by Nigerian authors Lola Shoneyin and Wole Soyinka. Shoneyin’s bestselling debut novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives will be adapted as a series, while Soyinka’s Death & the King’s Horseman will be made into a film.

Further details of the other projects have yet to be revealed.

Abudu said: “As a Nigerian storyteller, my biggest motivator has always been to tell authentic and untold stories that resonate with every person, regardless of where they’re from in the world, while showcasing our culture, heritage and creativity.

“This unprecedented partnership is testament to Netflix’s investment in African storytelling, and we at EbonyLife are grateful and excited about the opportunity to work together with Netflix to deliver a slate of unique and riveting stories from Nigeria over the next few years for Netflix audiences around the world.”

tagged in: , ,

Netflix takes Blood & Water to S2

Blood & Water comes from Gambit Films

Netflix has ordered a second season of African teen drama series Blood & Water.

Directed by South Africa’s Nosipho Dumisa, Blood & Water is produced by Cape Town’s Gambit Films, led by producers Bradley Joshua and Benjamin Overmeyer as producers.

Season one followed the story of Puleng (played by Ama Qamata), a high-school girl whose sister Phumele was kidnapped by a human-trafficking network many years ago.

Addressing members of the show’s creative team on Instagram, producer Nosipho Dumisa said: “I got a call the other day from some certain people from Netflix and they were like, ‘By the way, we love the show so much we can’t get enough, we’re definitely renewing season two and you guys need to get going.’”

Blood & Water’s cast includes breakout star Khosi Ngema plus experienced actors Qamata, Natasha Thahane, Gail Mabalane, Cindy Mahlangu, Thabang Molaba, Arno Greeff and Dillon Windvogel.

The premiere date for season two has yet to be announced.

tagged in: ,

MultiChoice to add Netflix, Amazon

Pay TV company MultiChoice is set to add international streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to its DStv platform.

Calvo Mawela

With its recently released 2019/20 financial results, the pay TV company has shown growth in South Africa and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, adding roughly 900 000 DStv and GOtv subscribers.

Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice’s CEO, said: “We are pleased with our performance and the resilience we have demonstrated this year. Our healthy balance sheet positions us well to weather uncertainties in our markets going forward.

“We have long been a content aggregator and this is proof of our aggregator model at work, providing simplicity, choice and convenience for our customers. As our industry evolves, we believe that we are well positioned to benefit from both worlds – a large, growing pay TV market in Africa, as well as an emerging over-the-top opportunity, where our own OTT services and aggregation capabilities can drive success.

“MultiChoice has shown a 5% increase in subscriber growth in its 2019/20 financial year, taking its total pay TV subscriber base to 19.5 million households. South Africa still represents MultiChoice’s biggest and most powerful market, with 8.4 million pay TV households, while the rest of Africa combined represents 11.1 million households.”

Besides adding two global streaming services, MultiChoice is also getting ready to roll out its as-yet-unnamed ‘DStv dishless,’ stand-alone DStv streaming service that will mimic its existing direct-to-home  service but without the need for any installation.

With these additions, existing subscribers will have access to further streaming services through DStv, paying their monthly bill in local currency for the add-ons, lessening payment friction and providing one place for subscribers to find and watch content.

The company is also planning two new coproductions, Blood Psalms and Rogue; to launch four new local-content TV channels, including a new action-movie channel; and to further ramp up local content production in 2021.

tagged in: , , ,

Netflix adds four Nigerian movies

Jammal Ibrahim in The Delivery Boy

Global streaming giant Netflix is adding four new Nigerian titles to its platform this month.

The Delivery Boy and Light in the Dark will premiere on May 14 and 18 respectively and Anchor Baby starts on May 20. Play Network’s award-winning feature film Living in Bondage: Breaking Free will also make its debut this month.

The Delivery Boy is an award-winning thriller written and directed by cinematographer Adekunle Nodash Adejuyigbe, which tells the story of an orphaned boy who runs into a young prostitute on a fated night. It stars Jammal Ibrahim and Jemima Osunde.

Light in the Dark is directed by Ekene Som Mekwunye. It follows a couple who struggle to mend their marriage after a terrifying home invasion and stars Nollywood actors including Rita Dominic, Kalu Ikeagwu, Joke Silva and Bimbo Ademoye.

Anchor Baby is another thriller, this time produced and directed by Lonzo Nzekwe. It follows the struggle of a Nigerian couple who defy deportation orders and go into hiding to secure their unborn child’s US citizenship and stars Omoni Oboli and Sam Sarpong.

Living in Bondage: Breaking Free is a sequel to the Chris Obi Rapu directed 1992 thriller Living in Bondage. Written by Nicole Asinugo and CJ Obasi and directed by Ramsey Nouah, the movie follows Nnamdi, whose quest for the lavish life takes him down the same questionable path as his father. It features Kenneth Okonkwo, Bob-Manuel Udokwu and Kanayo O Kanayo.

Netflix, which plans to take on more than 50 new titles, recently commissioned an original dance drama series called Jiva!, produced by Cape Town production house Blue Ice Africa.

tagged in: , , , , , ,

Netflix debuts Made in Africa collection

Netflix’s Made in Africa collection

Netflix has launched its Made in Africa collection, a curated list of African series, films and docs aimed at celebrating Africa Month and showing the streamer’s commitment to the continent and its creatives.

Lovers of African stories will be able to watch more than 100 titles of older licensed films and shows as well as Netflix originals including Queen Sono, Jerusalema, King of Boys, Lionheart, Mokalik, Oscar-winning Tsotsi, Uncovered, The Wedding Party and Tjovitjo, plus documentaries like Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Ivory Game and Oscar-nominated Virunga.

Ben Amadasun, director of licensing and coproductions for Africa at Netflix, said: “This collection includes Queen Sono – our first Netflix original series – and as well as films like Catching Feelings, Chief Daddy, 93 Days and Merry Men. We hope that by making these ‘Made in Africa’ titles easily available we will help ensure they are watched around the world.”

The Made in Africa collection is now available at netflix.com/madeinafrica.

tagged in: , ,