Cape Town producer collaborates on new dystopian series
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Cape Town producer Nizaam Ackerman has announced the development of a new TV series with international film editor, Zhelyaz Tomov.
The 10-episode futuristic drama series titled Again is set in a dystopian South Africa 700 years from now, where the country has been torn apart by conflict.
Again was created in the first lockdown last year, when both creatives decided to put their heads together and work on a concept.
“We envisioned it based on all the variables of incidents in South Africa, but wanted to outline and experiment with the diversity of highlighting socio-economic factors in our country,” Ackerman said.
Again is built on the “what if” premise and looks at what would happen if ethical, cultural and racial conflict became hurdles to achieving scientific leaps.
While facing that dilemma, various factions form as the population faces hostility. The series begins with a brutal incident threatening a chain of events that can lead to a devastating war.
For Berlin-based Tomov, it was a casual conversation that drew his attention to the racial dynamics in South Africa.
“We have a diverse network of cultures within SA and our project highlights the aspects of each. One of the perspectives of the story is the racial dynamics and life from the coloured perspective or point of view,” said Tomov.
Ackerman said he enjoyed including coloured slang in the script.
“The characters we created in the one faction will have SA in stitches with laughter. There is authenticity in the delivery of the dialogue being emphatic and uncompromised,” he said.
Tomov’s highlight in creating the series was seeing people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds understand the storyline.
“It is the highest reward for me when people read the script and enjoy it.”
As the series is still in development, Again is a work-in-progress title with the gist being “a repetition of post-apocalyptic events adding credence to the initial concept”, Ackerman said.
Ackerman met Tomov through a mutual colleague in the industry, Florian Stiege, and Tomov later began working with Wishbones, the local production company that Ackerman works for.
“I looked at his work and realised that he would make a vital contribution to the work that we do,” Ackerman said.
Bulgarian-born film editor Zhelyaz Tomov spent the last ten years working in post production, and is also a vfx specialist. Tomov's career trajectory includes work on international productions like The Loser Takes It All and a German-Angolan film, The Odour of Atheism, among others.
Tomov and Ackerman are passionate about South African culture and hope to present the series on a global streaming service platform like Netflix.