East Africa: M-Net commissions Kenya’s Big Ideas Entertainment to make first East African drama
In its second major announcement in a week, M-Net confirmed its partnership with Big Ideas Entertainment, the Kenyan TV company which has been commissioned to produce M-Net’s first ever East-African drama series.
Breaking the news of the Big Ideas appointment, just 5 months after M-Net first revealed its intention to create a regionalized drama series, was M-Net’s Director of Operations for sub-Saharan Africa Joseph Hundah.
''I say this frequently because it’s true. M-Net is determined to continue to pioneer new African content. We very definitely will meet the needs of audiences in this market to see their own stories on our screens. M-Net will continue creating strong programs that enable MultiChoice Africa to provide the best local content value to DStv viewers.''
He went on to say, ''From the moment M-Net began calling for series proposals on June 4, we started receiving creative ideas. It was a long process of evaluation before we made our final decision. In Big Ideas Entertainment, we have an ally who shares our vision and aims to deliver viewing which East African audiences can relate to and enjoy.''
The process of selection was a rigorous one and began immediately after the deadline for entries closed in August.
All proposals received were evaluated critically by a team of four experts including M-Net Program Manager for East Africa Wangeci Murage and Kenya’s Catholic University lecturer of literature, theatre and drama Simon Peter.
Thereafter a key M-Net panel also deliberated over the proposals and the evaluations before short-listing six companies for the pitching round. These pitching sessions where held early in October in Nairobi and it was here that Big Ideas Entertainment put forward their winning pitch.
Telling stories of love, hope, triumph and tragedy, their series follows three couples as they juggle the demands of work, marriage and family.
Set against a contemporary East African backdrop, reflecting the societies in which they live and the challenges which they share, the three couples are at the heart of this entertaining, inspirational, realistic look at modern life in Africa today. Now in pre-production and with its name still be finalized, the series is set to make M-Net history, drawing actors from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and using local crew.
The Big Ideas Entertainment team of Njoki Muhoho (Executive Producer), Willie Owusu (DOP) and Aleks Kamau (Editor) will helm the show with Serah Mwihaki on the writing staff. Also playing a vital role on the show is company director Angelo Kinyua, the CNN Multichoice African Journalist 2005 winner, who takes on the role as the show’s Line Producer. Filming on the 13-part, 48-minute weekly series will begin early in 2008 and DStv audiences will be able to watch the show on M-Net later in the year.