While this is the first Kenyan Showmax Original, it is not the first foray into original Kenyan content for the MultiChoice Group, Showmax’s parent company.
Streaming service Showmax is expanding its investment in Africa with its first original Kenyan series and second co-production with global broadcaster CANAL+. The two entities have begun production on Crime & Justice, a police procedural and legal show set in Nairobi.
Crime & Justice features a heavy-weight cast with Sarah Hassan (Plan B, How to Find a Husband) and Alfred Munyua (Poacher, The First Grader, Sense8) starring as Makena and Silas, the two detectives at the heart of the topical show that follows one ripped-from-the-headlines case per episode, all the way through to the courtroom verdict.
Crime & Justice is directed and produced by Adam Neutzsky-Wulff, whose slate of films and series include All The Little Things We Kill, starring Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards, Homeland), and You Are Here, starring Teen Choice nominee Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars, iZombie, The Originals), Peter Vac, Lea Thompson and MTV Movie Award winner William Baldwin.
Working alongside Adam in the production team is an all-star Kenyan crew, including co-producer Maureen Wanjiku (Subira, Kenya’s 2019 Oscar entry, East Africa’s Got Talent); two-time Kalasha award-winning lighting technician Walter Odhiambo (Plan B, 40 Sticks); cinematographer Sammy Maina (Lost in Africa, Country Queen), who’ll be taking over from Helge Gerull after episode 2; art director Eugene Oyoo (Kenya’s 2018 Oscar entry Supa Modo); and casting director Lorella Jowi (Watu Wote, Kenya’s first Oscar-nominated film).
While this is the first Kenyan Showmax Original, it is not the first foray into original Kenyan content for the MultiChoice Group, Showmax’s parent company. With more than 25 years of experience in Kenya with its video entertainment businesses GOtv and DStv, MultiChoice produces more than 10 original Kenyan productions each year, including some of the most popular series on its flagship East African channel, Maisha Magic, like Kina, Selina, Pete and Chozi.
“We are fundamentally an African business and are invested in telling African stories that reflect the lives, languages and cultures of the continent. We believe in African talent and look forward to shining the international spotlight on not only Kenyan stars, but the Kenyan technical industry’s capabilities,” commented Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for General Entertainment & Connected Video.
“We believe that streaming video is a powerful way to deliver these shared stories. This is one of many more Showmax Originals we have in the pipeline across Africa.”
Crime & Justice follows the announcement of the first CANAL+ and MultiChoice co-production earlier this year, Blood Psalms, which will premiere on Showmax in 2021.