Basketball Africa Series in the works of the producer of “ True Detective ”


The Emerging African Basketball League (BAL), a partnership between the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), is set to secure its own documentary series.

Fremantle, “True Detective” executive producer Richard Brown and sports marketing company Infront have teamed up with BAL to produce an original documentary series telling the story of its launch and inaugural season.

BAL is a new professional league of 12 teams from across Africa that will kick off on May 16 in Kigali, Rwanda. This is the NBA’s first collaboration to operate a league outside of North America.

The series will be directed by South African director Tebogo Malope, who directed Netflix’s first African original series “Queen Sono”. It will follow the stories of players, coaches and teams from across Africa, highlighting the ambition behind the Pan African Basketball League and the individuals who have worked to change the landscape of sport on the continent through to this initiative. Filming for the series has started in several countries.

The series was developed by Malope alongside executive producers Brown, Oscar-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens (“Tiger King”, “The Cove”) and acclaimed Nigerian director / producer Akin Omotoso, who currently directs “The Greek Freak” for Disney. Plus, a movie about the life of NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Anthony Scheinman and Christian Vesper will also be executive producers on behalf of Infront and Fremantle respectively.

The series is part of Fremantle’s exclusive multi-year agreement with Brown’s production company, Passenger.

The companies will work together on global distribution plans.

“BAL will have a transformational impact on basketball and sport as a whole in Africa, and this project will capture this historic moment for generations to come,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall.

“I am very excited about this project because it puts African storytellers at the head of their own story,” said Malope. “Leading this series with acclaimed producers Richard Brown, Fisher Stevens and the BAL sums up the best of what it means to be global, and it’s a dream come true for me.”

“I couldn’t have imagined a more exciting and memorable project,” said Brown. “Even at the very start of filming, the countless stories that have emerged from the cultures and personalities that make up the Basketball Africa League are absolutely compelling. Tebogo is an extremely talented upcoming filmmaker with an overwhelming vision on how to tell this story.

Club teams participating in BAL’s inaugural season include Algerian GSP, Angola Petro from Luanda, FAP from Cameroon, Egyptian Zamalek, GNBC from Madagascar, AS police from Mali, AS Salé from Morocco , the Ferroviàrio de Maputo of Mozambique, the Rivers Hoopers of Nigeria, the Patriots of Rwanda BBC, the AS of Senegal Customs and Tunisia
US Monastir.

The first BAL finals will take place on May 30.

Brown is currently in production on the five-part Fremantle and Sky series “This Sceptred Isle”, directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Kenneth Branagh as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


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