Amazon Prime Video has closed a multi-picture licensing agreement with South Africa’s Known Associates, the parent company of Johannesburg-based Known Associates Entertainment (KAE) and Cape Town-based Moonlighting Films, the company announced Thursday during the Joburg Film Festival.
The deal grants Prime Video exclusive SVOD access to over 20 South African feature films, including Zane Meas’ “Klip Anker Baai,” Marvin-Lee Beukes’ “Tickets,” Jahmil Qubeka’s “You Are My Favorite Place,” Dick d’vLz Reubïn’s “Gereza” and Norman Maake’s “Piet’s Sake 2.”
The slate also includes at least eight newly produced films in 2023, among them new features from Ian Gabriel (“Four Corners”), Alastair Orr (“Triggered”), Meg Rickards (“Tess”) and John Barker, who will be filming the sequel to his 2022 Toronto Film Festival premiere “The Umbrella Men” (pictured).
“We’re delighted to be bringing Prime Video customers this diverse and compelling slate of South African movies from the dynamic team at Known Associates,” said Ayanna Lonian, director of content acquisition and head of worldwide major studio licensing strategy at Prime Video. “We expect these films will delight our customers in South Africa and around the world.”
The deal also includes the option to pick up additional, to-be-determined titles, something that Known Associates group owner and CEO Tshepiso Chikapa Phiri said “gives us an opportunity to work with emerging young directors.
“We are fortunate that, jointly through KAE and Moonlighting, we have the entire value chain of production development, financing and production servicing under one roof,” she continued. “This enables our creative team at KAE to focus on what they do best — developing and financing films — while the manufacturing will be overseen by Moonlighting.”
Known Associates was founded in 2014 by Tshepiso Chikapa Phiri. The company expanded in 2018 to include the production house Known Associates Entertainment, which was co-founded by Emmy Award-winning director-producer Dan Jawitz, with film financier and executive producer Joel Phiri now serving as chairperson. The company’s slate includes the South African adaptation of the Colombian telenovela that inspired “Ugly Betty” and “Ambre,” a sci-fi drama series produced with Ivory Coast public broadcaster RTI that marks the first co-production between the two countries.
Last year Known Associates acquired Moonlighting Films, one of South Africa’s top production services companies, which recently serviced “Mission: Impossible 7” and the HBO Max series “Warrior.”
The Joburg Film Festival runs Jan. 31 – Feb. 5.