The television adaptation of internationally acclaimed author Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers marks the beginning of a new era in high-end African storytelling. Pan-African television network M-Net and two global broadcasting giants have joined forces to take this uniquely South African political thriller to the world. First, as announced in December 2018, M-Net sealed a groundbreaking collaboration deal with Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF. Trackers is also being co-produced by Cinemax, which will distribute the drama series worldwide beyond M-Net and ZDF’s geographical broadcasting footprint.
“The trailblazing and massively exciting co-production of Trackers illustrates M–Net’s vision and commitment to shine the spotlight on the African film and television industry and provide fresh, proudly African narratives to our viewers as well as global audiences,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle. “It is also taking our longstanding relationship with Cinemax to the next level, allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills.”
While M-Net is already the home of Cinemax and its sister network HBO, allowing viewers to enjoy showstoppers like Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Westworld and many more, HBO, Cinemax and M-Net also launched an innovative Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back.
Master wordsmith Deon Meyer, whose multiple-award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the accomplished Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) as well as local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe.
“Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory with all the game-changing players involved in this co-production,” Phahle concludes.
Trackers, based on Deon’s 7th book, weaves together various different storylines that focus on black rhinos, the CIA, organised crime, diamond smuggling, state security and an international terrorist plot to attack Cape Town. A talented local and international cast is on the bill for the six-part miniseries, some of which include Ed Stoppard, Sisanda Henna, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena.
Dr. Simone Emmelius, ZDF main editorial director of feature film and international co-production, says Deon Meyer’s stories have a loyal fan base in Germany. “Trackers is an intelligent crime story and that, combined with the exhilarating South African locations and the great talent, both in front of and behind the camera, is guaranteed to enthrall viewers while, at the same time, introduce a huge television audience to Meyer’s work, and that will inspire both old and new Deon Meyer fans.”
Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 on 27 October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s popular on-demand service, Showma x. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23.
Watch the trailer: https://youtu.be/prQQwYNGGJs