by Thinus Ferreira
The chartered accountant Odirile Mekwa who has been chief operating officer (COO) of Quizzical Pictures is becoming its new managing director after acquiring a stake in the South African production company, replacing producer Harriet Gavshon who is becoming creative director.
Quizzical Pictures is now 71% black-owned. Andile Khumalo is the majority shareholder in Quizzical Pictures, with the balance owned by founders Harriet Gavshon and David Jimmy. Harriet Gavshon who has been running Quizzical Pictures for the past 28 years is moving to the creative director role.
The rest of the Quizzical Pictures management team consists of JP Potgieter as senior producer and Nimrod Geva as head of development, with Kwena Ngoasheng as financial manager.
Quizzical Pictures has produced numerous TV series for various South African TV channels over the past almost three decades, including a number of international co-productions.
Established in 1993 as Weekly Mail Television, then Mail and Guardian Television, the production company was spun out in 1999 as Curious Pictures and rebranded as Quizzical Pictures in 2012.
The production company produced shows like the first Showmax Original drama series, The Girl from St. Agnes for MultiChoice's video streaming service Showmax, and the last few years the drama series Reyka and Desert Rose for M-Net (DStv 101), Swartwater for SABC2, the long-running Rhythm City weekday soap for e.tv, and Savage Beauty for Netflix Africa as one of the first original series for Netflix South Africa.
Other series include Lithapo for SABC2, MTV Shuga Down South for Viacom Africa now Paramount Africa, MasterChef SA for M-Net, Hard Copy for SABC3, Umlilo for e.tv, Intersexions for SABC1, and several others.
Recently Quizzical Pictures has strategically been eyeing more and more international co-productions and international sales for series filmed in South Africa,
Odirile Mekwa says "These are most exciting times for African content producers. There is a growing appetite for our stories. The last few years have seen Quizzical Pictures, and our peers integrate into an increasingly global television and film marketplace. This development is transforming our industry and business practices at a fast pace".
"This growth makes us very excited for the future as it affords us the opportunity to share our ever-improving expertise and storytelling with our traditional customer base, and now also with business partners from across borders and continents."
Harriet Gavshon says "I am excited about our upcoming slate of co-productions and projects and delighted to have the space to give them the attention they deserve".