Leading African content distributor Cote Ouest is moving into production with its first series, comedy drama Inspector First Class (13×45-minutes). Currently in development, the series follows the comedic exploits of a detective working for the African Bureau of Investigation, who no-one takes seriously.
The pan-African comedy will feature an eclectic mix of characters, covering various themes and issues thread through various African socio-cultural settings.
African Countries that will be at the mercy of the bungling black-African Pink Panther-like inspector will be Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.
The project is in the early stages of script development and production will begin in March 2013. Cote Ouest will partner with leading South African based production house Dv8 Films, headed by Jeremy Nathan, known for his work on such films as Forgiveness, Max and Mona, Bunny Chow and a slate of brilliant M-Net and SABC TV drama series.
Mike Dearham, SVP, Cote Ouest Group and GM of the Mauritian office says: “Cote Ouest has unprecedented knowledge of the African production industry and has established its position as one of the leading companies within the territory. It now feels like a natural step to enter into the production space with Inspector First Class. The comedy genre has a real heritage across the African Diaspora and African producers have crafted a distinctive style. Cote Ouest is looking forward to drawing upon this heritage for development of Inspector First Class as we mark the start of our production business.
“We will work closely with TV stations in Africa and beyond to secure pre-licence deals; several stations have already pledged their support to the project. All rights across all media platforms are still currently available. Inspector First Class will be the first of a slate of several other new Cote Ouest productions that will soon follow. This series, along with the properties in Cote Ouest’s MIPCOM catalogue, highlight the diversity and quality of the content that is being produced in Africa. African content is rapidly gaining popularity with international audiences and we are excited to be part of its growth as we showcase these properties on the global stage.’
Cote Ouest content strategy hinges on three main pillars; Telenovelas, Hollywood and African content. Its catalogue boasts the very best productions falling into these three categories.
In terms of Hollywood, Cote Ouest represents Disney and will offer during the MIPCOM content market in Cannes in October, a powerful line-up of Disney shows, some of which include; Castle, Ghost Whisperer, Desperate Housewives, Legend of the Seekers to name but a few
Cote Ouest’s African collection includes a compelling line-up of refreshing programmes some of which are mentioned below. Other African content sources include M-Net’s historic library of African films, the newly acquired feature film Moozlu starring Danny Glover, the British-Nigerian family comedy drama series Meet the Adebanjos and many more.
Its selection of telenovelas includes all the latest hot telenovela releases direct from TV GLOBO, including the popular Irrational Heart.
Other Cote Ouest MIPCOM highlights include the following recently acquired titles:
Mali (326×24’) is a drama about a rich family that is run by an over-controlling polygamous patriarch. Different in nature and in background, the families are plagued by romance, money, power and seduction. Cote Ouest holds the global rights for all versions of the series.
Bella’s Place (52×24’) is a drama series centred on a hair and beauty salon run by the title character. Following the day-to-day exploits of the salon’s employees and its customers, the series is full of relationship troubles, gossip and intrigue. Cote Ouest holds the exclusive rights for the series for English-speaking African countries.
Siri (40×29’), which means “secret’ in Swahili, is an educational drama series set on a tea plantation. The series addresses the issues related to reproductive health and HIV from a woman’s perspective. Cote Ouest holds the global distribution rights for all forms of TV content and internet based media channels. All language versions are available.
The Clone (250×45’) is a telenovela that follows the turbulent love story of Lucas and Jade. Beginning in 1980 in Morocco and spanning to present day Rio de Janeiro, The Clone reveals their forbidden love affair whilst raising two polemic themes – human cloning and drug abuse. Cote Ouest has rights to distribute the programme across the entire African continent and has already produced a French dubbed version.
Destiny River (105×45’) is a telenovela encompassing mystery, beauty and drama. Destiny River centres on the impossible romance between Solano and Elena, the widow of his late father, and who holds a deadly secret relating to an ancient curse carried by her ancestors. Destiny River has been sold to French television.
Isidingo (260×26’), one of the most watched soaps in South Africa, tells the story of the residents of Horizon Dee, a South African mining town. Covering real and current issues such as domestic violence and inter-racial relationships, the soap features a cast of dynamic characters and explosive storylines. Cote Ouest holds the exclusive rights for Francophone African countries.