20 September 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Zanzibar Films & Hold The Page's New Donegal Crime Drama Acquired by Kew Media
23 Jul 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Zanzibar Films and Hold The Page have secured a development deal with Kew Media Distribution for their new Donegal-based crime series based on Andrea Carter’s books. The deal for the TV crime drama series was completed at the Galway Film Fleadh in July.

London, Toronto and LA based international distributor Kew Media have signed a deal with Zanzibar Films and Hold The Page to co-develop, co-produce and distribute a new Irish crime series entitled “Donegal – The Inishowen Mysteries”.

Zanzibar Films Ltd, Ireland & Hold The Page GmbH, Germany had acquired the international television rights to the Inishowen Mysteries trilogy by Andrea Carter, featuring solicitor-turned-investigator, Ben (short for Benedicta) O’Keeffe. This agreement includes the novels Death at Whitewater Church, Treacherous Strand, and The Well of Ice, ahead of the publication of Murder at Greysbridge in October 2018, which is the start of the second trilogy. Kerry Glencorse from Susanna Lea Associates negotiated the deal. 

Described as ‘modern day Agatha Christie” the 90 minutes series will appeal to fans of Broadchurch, Grantchester or The Case Histories. It is set on the rugged Inishowen Peninsula where the protagonist, Ben, runs the most northerly legal practice in the country and helps local police sergeant Tom Molloy solve mysteries that the remote community throws up. 

Speaking about the project, Kerry Glencorse said:

“When I first read Whitewater Church on submission it felt destined for TV: the windswept landscapes, the eccentric locals, the surly love interest in Sergeant Tom Molloy and, of course Ben, our feisty and troubled heroine. I can’t wait to see the characters brought to the screen.”

Zanzibar Films CEO and Executive Producer Edwina Forkin added:

“I was enthralled when I read Andrea Carter’s series of books Death at Whitewater Church, Treacherous Strand, and The Well of Ice– with such a great female lead character, Ben – and felt that it would make the perfect TV series. A huge appeal was to shoot the series in Donegal, where the books are set; the iconic beautiful landscape of Donegal is breathtaking and a perfect backdrop to the series.”  

Katrin Hensel-Ovenden who has been secured to write the first screenplay said:

As a female writer I am very enthusiastic about accompanying this interesting female lead, who is simultaneously fragile and strong, is full of vitality and curiosity, laced with sadness. Her determination to do the right thing leads her into dangerously dramatic situations where she has little regard for her own safety.” 

Andrea Carter, creator and writer of the novels, looks forward to the collaboration with Edwina Forkin, Katrin Hensel-Ovenden and Ralph Christians, tell IFTN:

“I admire their work and fully endorse their plans to adapt my novels. I am confident that they understand the characters and love the setting as I do and I am especially excited that they intend to film the series in Donegal itself.” 

Greg Phillips, Kew Media’s President of Distribution, added:

“We are confident that Andrea Carter’s compelling stories and characters, combined with the stunning landscapes of Donegal, will draw a strong global audience. The demand for high quality international drama is greater than ever, and we’re very pleased to be part of this exciting new creative collaboration.”

Executive Producer Ralph Christians:

“After adapting all of Ken Bruen's ‘Jack Taylor’ novels for television I love the challenge of bringing another Irish crime series to the global market.”

The producers are currently negotiating a co-production deal with the renowned German production company Neue Deutsche Filmgesellschaft (ndF), which will secure a German broadcast deal.

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