Keshet International has boarded South African prodco Quizzical Pictures’ forthcoming murder mystery series Paradys as global distribution and production partner.
Created by Darrel Bristow-Bovey and Anton Visser, Paradys (8×60’) is a tense, character-driven murder mystery set in the racially exclusive desert town of Paradys. At first glance, Paradys looks much like any small rural community in South Africa – except everyone is white.
Inspired by a real place, Paradys shuns the vision for a ‘rainbow nation’ shared by the vast majority of South Africans, but a horrific murder brings this white enclave to the brink when two black cops are sent to investigate the crime.
Bristow-Bovey is writing the series in English and Afrikaans, with John Trengove attached as director. Quizzical Pictures’ head of development Nimrod Geva is producer, while the prodco’s MD Harriet Gavshon exec produces with Arrested Industries’ CEO Anthony Kimble, Keshet Media Group’s CEO Avi Nir and Keshet International’s CEO Alon Shtruzman.
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.
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.”