Afua Hirsch’s First Look Deal With Fremantle, De Maio Kicks Off With Series on $2 Billion Scandal

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Fremantle and De Maio Entertainment have signed a partnership with Afua Hirsch’s U.K. based production company Born In Me for an exclusive global first look deal.

The agreement will give Fremantle, in collaboration with De Maio Entertainment, the rights to co-develop, produce, and distribute, scripted and unscripted television and film projects with Born In Me.

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The first project in development is a TV drama series based on the true story of Kweku Adoboli, the Ghana-born former investment banker who was jailed in 2012 after unauthorised losses of $2 billion in what is now known as the 2011 rogue trader scandal. The drama will interweave the complexities of being a Black man working in London, becoming criminalized, and battling deportation to a country that he left when he was only four years old. The series will be produced by Hirsch for Born In Me and Tony Tagoe and Danny Damah for TD Afrique Films.

Hirsch, an eminent writer, broadcaster and filmmaker, recently co-presented the factual documentary series “Enslaved” alongside Samuel L. Jackson, which focused on 400 years of human trafficking by Europeans from Africa to the New World. The series is distributed by Fremantle and as sold to 140 territories, with broadcasts on CBC (Canada), Epix (U.S.), and the BBC in the U.K.

The deal was revealed Wednesday on the sidelines of the Edinburgh TV Festival, where Hirsch, known for her work on culture, identity, and history in the African diaspora and worldwide, participated in a panel on talent-led U.K. independent production companies.

The partnership was brokered by Lorenzo De Maio, president of the recently formed De Maio Entertainment, Fremantle’s global drama team led by president Christian Vesper and Seb Shorr, EVP commercial and business affairs, scripted.

Several other scripted and non-scripted projects are being developed and will be announced imminently.

“This is an incredible opportunity to work with Fremantle and De Maio Entertainment as partners who appreciate the range of my work – from journalistic storytelling, to scripted projects that I hope will push the boundaries of creativity,” said Hirsch.” All my work is motivated by compelling stories that reflect underserved audiences, centering diverse voices, experiences and talent, and I’m confident that we will be able to elevate this mission together.”

“Afua has a passion and clear talent for creative storytelling in the world of politics, current affairs and drama, both on and off screen,” Vesper added. “We are excited to work with her, the Born In Me team and De Maio Entertainment to produce relevant and original content with depth for audiences worldwide.”

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