MultiChoice, Africa’s leading pay-television operator, and its flagship channel, M-Net, will join forces with global producer and distributor Fremantle to develop an eight-part contemporary South African investigative crime thriller, Reyka.
Set against the tropical coastline and vast sugarcane field of KwaZulu Natal, the story follows the life of Reyka Gama, a flawed but brilliant female detective, who is haunted by her past.
The story begins 1994, the end of apartheid and the dawning of a new South Africa. Reyka, the 11 year old daughter of African and British parents is abducted. Having escaped her tormentor, she now lives her life as a mother and investigative detective.
She returns to her home town to lead the investigation into a serial killer behind a string of brutal murders where victims’ burnt bodies are being found in the sugar-cane fields. Caught between hope for new beginnings and living with the horrors of the past, Reyka’s worlds collide and reveal a dark secret of her own. Reyka is created by screenwriter and showrunner Rohan Dickson, the only South African nominated for a Palm d’Or Award in screenwriting for his film Husk. UK-based Jake Riddell (Death in Paradise, Suspects) joins Dickson as story consultant and writer.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of General Entertainment at the MultiChoice Group, said: “This partnership with Fremantle is the perfect way to shine the spotlight on the African film and television industry and provides compelling new stories for global audiences beyond African shores.”
“With more than 13.5 million subscribers in Africa and several international awards for our scripted content, we are already the leading African storyteller on the continent. With an esteemed distributer like Fremantle at our side, we can now share our talent and unique content globally.”
Sarah Doole, Director of Global Drama, Fremantle, added: “We are proud to partner with MultiChoice Group for our first South African drama. A compelling story, Reyka brings modern day South Africa and its rainbow nation of different communities and cultures to the global stage. Reyka is a very distinctive lead and watching her complex life unfold in this diverse landscape adds a new dimension to the crime drama genre.”
The series will be jointly produced by Serena Cullen for Serena Cullen Productions in the UK (Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Cold Feet) and Harriet Gavshon for Emmy nominated Quizzical Pictures in South Africa. Executive Producers are Serena Cullen, Harriet Gavshon and Rohan Dickson. Jan du Plessis will executive produce for M-Net and Sarah Doole for Fremantle. Rekya will be distributed globally by Fremantle.