M-Net thriller Reyka premieres at Monte Carlo Television Festival


9-years in the making, M-Net’s (DStv channel 101) local original crime drama series, Reyka, had a dazzling debut on the global stage at the 60th Monte Carlo Television Festival

M-Net’s (DStv 101) local psychological crime thriller Reyka is making waves overseas following its world première, which aired this past weekend at the prestigious 60th Monte Carlo Television Festival in Monaco. The festival runs until Tuesday, 22 June.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II welcomed delegates in the TV industry, from producers and directors, to writers. He made a special comment about Reyka and how his wife, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene, who is originally from South Africa, was especially excited about Reyka’s world première.

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a virtual Q&A session with lead cast members like British actor Iain Glen (Speelman), actress Kim Engelbrecht (Reyka), director Zee Ntuli and producer Serena Cullen during the opening ceremony of the festival before an exclusive screening of episode 1 of Reyka.

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9 years in the making

This passion project has been 9 years in the making, and there is no one who is prouder and more excited about the series’ release than producer Serena Cullen, of Serena Cullen Productions.

Serena, who lives in the UK but has roots in South Africa, has fought for countless years to get interest and funding for Reyka – ever since writer Rohan Dickson sent her the concept and script. “It’s amazing how far we’ve come, from me knocking on the South African consulate’s door in the UK asking for help to partner with Fremantle, M-Net and Quizzical Pictures,” Serena remarked.

For Serena, it’s important to expose the international audience to an authentic South African story that is more than just apartheid. “I feel Europeans don’t know that much about South Africa than what happened in the past. The crew that worked on Reyka were all young South Africans who were born post 1994, and the stories they told and the vibrancy of their cultures and lifestyle were so inviting, and that translated in this series. I hope viewers will see that beauty when they watch Reyka.”

Read more about Reyka

Praise for Reyka

Actor Iain Glen, who has made his own waves on the international TV and film stage in series such Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and Black Beauty, had high praise for Reyka and said he could draw any parallels between his work on other series and this series. “I preferred Reyka’s style of production and smaller crew, because it asked more of you as an actor, and urges you to give your best and more,” he said during the opening ceremony of the 60th Monte Carlo Television Festival. “Reyka’s script blew me away,” Iain added. “To be part of this South African story was such an honour and privilege, and I enjoyed my time there immensely. There is something special and unique about the country, its people, and Reyka captures that.”


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Iain gives a spectacular performance as Angus Speelman, Reyka’s abductor.


South African actress Kim Engelbrecht has also made waves overseas, starring in series such as Dominion and The Flash. But there is nothing like coming home and playing the lead role in Reyka. “I am in awe of the world première at the Monte Carlo Television Festival,” Kim says. “I think it’s right for Reyka to do this and open on a global stage. For a story that was born locally and now shared globally, it’s a huge thing and I am so blessed to have been a part of it. South Africa has gifted performers telling authentic and unique stories, and I think Reyka is just the start of more that will come from the African continent to the international stage,” Kim added.

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Kim wants more authentic African stories to be shown on the global stage.


Watch Reyka S1 from Sunday, 25 July on M-Net (DStv channel 101) at 20:00

Keep up with all the latest on Reyka on M-Net’s special YouTube Reyka playlist.

NB! M-Net (DStv channel 101) is available exclusively on DStv Premium. To get DStv or to upgrade your package, click here

 

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