by Thinus Ferreira
MultiChoice's Showmax and France's pay-TV service CANAL+ are doing the video streaming service's first Kenyan-set Showmax Original series, with production that has started on the gritty crime drama series Crime & Justice.
The co-produced Crime & Justice is set in modern-day Nairobi and will be released later in 2021 on Showmax while CANAL+ will distribute Crime & Justice to its French-speaking base.
The Crime & Justice includes Alfred Munyua as Silas and Sarah Hassan as Makena, two detectives working for the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), who try and solve "ripped-from-the-headlines" case per episode that are tracked all the way through to the courtroom verdict.
The rest of the Crime & Justice cast includes Maqbul Mohammed as DCI Boss Kebo, Paul Ogola as Prosecutor Sokoro Brian Ogola as Caleb, the resident pathologist; as well as John Sibi-Okumu, Muhugu Theuri, Brian Abajah, Martin Githinji and Justin Mirichii in guest roles.
Crime & Justice is produced by Live Eye TV, with Adam Neutzsky-Wulff as director and producer.
Other production crew includes Maureen Wanjiku as co-producer, lighting technician Walter Odhiambo, cinematographer Sammy Maina who will take over from Helge Gerull after the second episode, art director Eugene Oyoo, and casting director Lorella Jowi.
In a prepared casting quote, Alfred Munyua says "When I first read the script, I loved the delivery and realness of Silas as a character. It’s not exaggerated and he’s no Rambo hero; he just tackles his cases the normal way. I found a very real edge with this script, and I hope I’ll do justice to the role".
Sarah Hassan says "This is a very different character; I’ve never played anything like Makena before. It’s very exciting to get a character that makes me grow as an actor."
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of MultiChoice Connected Video, says "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. 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."
The Crime & Justice production follows the announcement of the first CANAL+ and MultiChoice co-production Blood Psalms that was filmed in South Africa in 2020 and that will be released on Showmax in 2021.
Fabrice Faux, CANAL+ International chief content officer, 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".