On the streets of Abidjan, filmmaker Alex Ogou shouts instructions as he directs his cast of locals in a TV drama about gangsters in Ivory Coast, the first of its kind that has caught the attention of French media giants.
“Invisibles” is the first original series produced in Africa and is part of a drive to redirect african viewers in the face of growing Chinese and Philipino competitions.
Produced by Ivorians , the series was shot mainly in Yopougon district, for an estimated cost of 1 million US dollars .
This piece is clearly a local break through as the director and creators have been on it for the last two years with huge financing from local production house TSK Studio.
Alex Ogou the producer highlights the extra efforts put behind the scenes.
“Our approach is to emphasize on quality with every production that we are involved in. I salute Mr Karamoko and TSK’s approach to production, because if we want to make this industry professional and competitive, there has to be someone taking initiatives, and for that to happen you need financing, which is what Mr Toure has done.”
The drama premiered in Abidjan on October 23 during which the exceptional production quality was appreciated by the audience.
Zie Coulibaly attended the premier and thinks the drama is a great piece.
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“When everything comes together in perfect synergy, when different stake holders come together, they can succeed at many things. We put our trust in young Ivorians. Both at the production and execution levels. Even when it comes to casting, you can see how perfectly each character was perfectly cast, I doff my hat to all of them”.
The series goes beyond the regular tele-novelas and tales of witchcraft dominating a good part of African TV consumption. “Invisibles” tells the story of a violent gang of youngsters in 10 episodes of 52 minutes.
It is believed that the success of the series will be a spring board for more homegrown stories to be told and equally help develop more local talents in other sectors of the film industry.
KaramokoToure the executive producer says he hopes to capitalize on the success of the series to grow the industry.
“Ivory Coast is where we work, but what we also want to do here is to be able to produce our own stories and distribute them all over the world.
The series will debut in Africa in October 2018.