Citizen Reporter
4 minute read
18 Nov 2021
10:00 am

‘Reyka’: Kim Engelbrecht-led drama goes global

Citizen Reporter

'Reyka' will now be available in over 80 territories globally, bringing the compelling series to international audiences for the first time.

Kim Engelbrecht in the acclaimed series 'Reyka'. Picture: Supplied

Thanks to M-Net’s partnership with Fremantle on production for Reyka, the series will now be available in over 80 territories globally, bringing the compelling eight-part series to international audiences for the first time.

Fremantle announced the deals this week for the series, co-produced by Harriet Gavshon for Quizzical and Serena Cullen for Serena Cullen Productions.

Reyka is also Fremantle’s first-ever South African drama which they described as a project that highlights South Africa’s status as a major player in the Scripted world. Freemantle added that this is further reinforced by its performance on M-Net as it is currently the highest-rated South African drama for the broadcaster.

As part of the aforementioned deals with the distribution company, the sho also opened the annual Monte Carlo TV Festival earlier this year. As a result of this, several international partners have “boarded” the series.

Reyka has already sold to BritBox North America – BBC Studios and ITV’s streaming service – who have acquired SVOD rights for North America and will launch the series on November 16th.

Kim Engelbrecht and Iain Glen will star in the upcoming investigative crime drama ‘Reyka’, set to air on M-Net. Picture:

In addition, CBC has picked up the series for Canada and Channel 4 will bring Reyka to audiences in the UK.

Public broadcasting heavyweight SBS recently launched Reyka in Australia, and TVNZ will broadcast for audiences in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Canal+ has acquired the series for numerous territories including Poland and France. RTL has acquired the rights for Germany, Cosmote TV for Greece and Sky Italia will be bringing Reyka to Italy.

“Furthermore, HBO LatAm will launch Reyka in numerous countries following a pan-regional deal struck by Sheila Aguirre, EVP Content Distribution and Format Sales LatAm, Caribbean & Hispanic US. Other territories that have boarded the series include Marjan Television (MENA Farsi), OSN Streaming (MENA Region) HOT (Israel), RTL Klub (Hungary) Viasat (Russia and CIS, Georgia and Ukraine) and NOW TV (Hong Kong and Macau),” explained Freemantle in a statement.

What is ‘Reyka’ about?

Reyka follows a flawed but brilliant criminal profiler, Reyka Gama (Kim Engelbrecht).

Haunted by her past, she investigates a string of brutal murders committed by a serial killer in the sugar cane fields of KwaZulu-Natal.  Having been abducted as a child by a farmer named Speelman (Iain Glen), Reyka is traumatised by the experience but this also helps her enter the minds of Africa’s most notorious criminals and turn them inside out.

Manipulative and charming, Speelman’s hold on Reyka, 20 years later, forms part of the backbone of the story, as does Reyka’s relationship with her mother Elsa, played by Anna-Mart van der Merwe (Binnelanders, Kanarie, Poppie Nongena).

British actor Iain Glen, who played Ser Jorah Mormont in ‘Game of Thrones’, will take on a new role as Angus Speelman in the investigative crime drama ‘Reyka’. Picture: Screenshot (Facebook)

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Reyka exposes secrets and lies, truth and trust, damage, healing and forgiveness. With a dramatic backdrop of sugar cane fields, tropical beaches, stifling heat, dangerous wildlife, a criminal underworld, and shadowy politics – each place is connected by sugar but divided in so many other ways.

“It’s a time of huge excitement for us. Reyka has garnered global attention for its beautiful storyline, brilliant cast and at the same time, the series is shining the spotlight on African stories. Reyka is keeping up with M-Net’s vision and commitment to showcase African narratives that resonate with audiences from across the globe.

“We are overjoyed with the achievements the series has brought to the television industry,” said CEO of general entertainment and connected video for MultiChoice, Yolisa Phahle, in a statement.

“We are delighted that so many exciting broadcast partners will be bringing our first South African scripted series to audiences across the world, reinforcing the global appeal of this captivating drama.

With compelling scripts, world class performances and astonishing production values, it is not a surprise the series has performed excellently for M-Net and I have no doubt that success will be emulated in the international market, cementing Fremantle as a key player in the English language drama space,” added Julie Hodge, editorial director for global drama for Fremantle and executive producer for Reyka.

Compiled by Kaunda Selisho