South African producer Anant Singh of Videovision Entertainment has acquired the film rights to the courtroom novels, Shepherds & Butchers, written by Durban advocate Chris Marnewick.
Development on the film will commence immediately and discussions are already underway with potential writers to adapt the book into a screenplay.
The book won the University of Johannesburg’s Prize for Debut Work of Fiction (English) and also appeared in the Sunday Times Long List for Best Works of Fiction for 2008. In addition, it made the Top 5 shortlisted books of the 2008 M-Net Literary Awards and was also shortlisted in the Top 3 in the 2008 M-Net Awards for Books Best Suited to be Turned into a Film.
Said Singh: “We are thrilled to have acquired the coveted rights to Shepherds & Butchers. Hats off to Chris Marnewick who did a fantastic job with his first book. It is a compelling and absorbing story which we hope to turn into a powerful film. Chris deals with the death penalty, which is always a controversial issue with audiences around the world, in a profound way. It is also very satisfying for us to have concluded this deal with Chris as both of us are Durban based,” continued Singh.
Commenting on the film rights deal, Marnewick said, “I have viewed a number of Anant’s serious films and I think he is the right man to take the important message in Shepherds & Butchers to the public by means of a feature film.”