Video on demand service, Showmax, has announced commencement of production on Crime & Justice, a gritty police and legal show set in Nairobi. The production will be executed in collaboration with CANAL+, a French television channel.
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.
Hassan and Munyua will be joined by Maqbul Mohammed (Varshita, Auntie Boss) as DCI Boss Kebo, Paul Ogola (Sense 8, Kati Kati) as Prosecutor Sokoro and Brian Ogola (Lusala, Disconnect) as Caleb, the resident pathologist, as well as the stage and screen legend John Sibi-Okumu (The Constant Gardener, The First Grader), Muhugu Theuri (Pillow Talk, Pieces of Us), Brian Abajah (Sincerely Daisy), Martin Githinji (Sue na Jonnie, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind) and Justin Mirichii (Rafiki, Watu Wote) in guest roles.
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 Vack (Love Life, The Bold Type), Lea Thompson (Switched at Birth, Back to the Future) and MTV Movie Award winner William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money, Gossip Girl, Parenthood).
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.
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. Blood Psalms is an epic 10-part series that chronicles the rise to power of a fierce teenage princess, Zazi (Bokang Phelane from Keeping Score, Emoyeni), who battles a world-ending prophecy to navigate her people through ancient curses, long-standing tribal vendettas, and the wrath of the Gods.
CANAL+ will distribute Crime & Justice to its French-speaking base, and is also committed to entertainment in Africa. Fabrice Faux, Chief Content Officer of CANAL+ INTERNATIONAL, says, “As part of our strategy of providing our subscribers with the best original content from the continent, we are proud to partner with Showmax and enrich myCanal as well as CANAL+ channels with such premium series.”
Other upcoming Showmax Originals include I Am Laycon, Showmax’s first Nigerian Original reality series, and the long awaited second season of SAFTA Best Comedy winner Tali’s Wedding Diary; the small-town psychological thriller