Originally published by Variety | 20 July 2020
U.K.-based production company and financier Fugitive has signed a wide-ranging partnership with South African independent producer Helena Spring for a diverse slate of projects.
Spring produced “Yesterday,” a 2005 Oscar nominee for South Africa in the foreign language category. The film was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award.
The new partnership will see Fugitive’s Anthony Kimble work with Helena Spring Films to develop a slate of scripted titles for TV, as well as represent them in the international market for commissions and financing.
The slate includes “Neon Gold” (8 x 60′), a cyber thriller set in a Johannesburg of the future that blends a heist adventure tale with a coming of age story; “Common Purpose,” a limited series set in 1984 Apartheid South Africa that follows a group of young people who are jailed for a crime they did not commit; and 12-part AIDS drama “The Year of Facing Fire,” based on Helena Kriel’s eponymous memoir.
Spring also has World War II feature film “Bitter Eden,” based on Tatamkhulu Afrika’s novel, to be directed by Christiaan Olwagen (“Poppie Nongena”), in the works.
“Much of Helena’s slate covers topical issues of race, gender and sexuality — but with new settings and different types of characters,” Kimble said. “These are just the sort of programs that people are saying should be made now — and early interest, particularly from those streamers and broadcasters who like to break new ground, is looking very positive.”
Spring said: “The time is right to showcase South Africa’s rich seam of unique stories and to add its voice and production talent to the growing body of international scripted content available in the marketplace. Having pivoted from feature films into television, I am enjoying the process and I’m delighted to have Fugitive’s enthusiastic, expert and reassuring presence by my side.”