M-Net, Quizzical Pictures, Fremantle to film drama White Lies in South Africa

The series’ lead director is The Wound’s John Trengove; Julie Hodge is executive producing on behalf of Fremantle

By Priyanca Rajput 1 Mar 2023

M-Net, Quizzical Pictures, Fremantle to film drama White Lies in South Africa
Natalie Dormer. Credit: IMDb

M-Net, Quizzical Pictures and Fremantle's new eight-part drama series, White Lies, will begin production in Cape Town, South Africa in the first week of March.

Set in the wealthy neighbourhood of Bishopscourt, Cape Town, investigative journalist Edie Hansen (Dormer) gets caught up in the ugly underbelly that lies beneath the picturesque beauty of the city, dragging her back to a turbulent past. 

The series' lead is British actress Natalie Dormer, who is best known for her role as Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones. Joining Dormer as co-star is South African actor Brendon Daniels, whose credits include the acclaimed film Four Corners, The Hunger Games and Trackers.

Created by Sean Steinberg and written by award-winning scriptwriter Darrel Bristow-Bovey, White Lies is an urgent exploration of race and privilege, inequality and identity centring on a strong female protagonist and diverse characters – all entangled in a riveting murder mystery. It starts filming in Cape Town, South Africa on 6th March 2023.  

White Lies is produced by Harriet Gavshon and Nimrod Geva for Quizzical Pictures, with Dormer and Bristow-Bovey also serving as executive producers. The series’ lead director is The Wound’s John Trengove, whose latest film Manodrome with Jesse Eisenberg and Adrien Brody premiered at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival. Directing alongside Trengove are Thati Pele (Lerato), Catharine Cooke (Reyka) and Christiaan Olwagen (Poppie Nongena, Kanarie). Julie Hodge is executive producing on behalf of Fremantle.

Joining Dormer and Daniels are Langley Kirkwood (Warrior, The Catch, Inconceivable), Morgan Santo (Raised by Wolves), Daniel Schultz (Upon the Edge), Jane de Wet (The Girl from St. Agnes, Still Breathing), Katlego Lebogang (Wounds), Robert Hobbs (District 9, The Girl from St Agnes, Isibaya) and Athenkosi Mfamela (Knuckle City).  

Natalie Dormer, who stars as Edie Hanson said: “I’m thrilled to be in Cape Town and begin this beautiful, gripping show. South Africa has so much to offer an international audience in its storytelling. I’m truly excited to bring Darrel’s eight episode page-turner to life with such a group of talented directors, led by John, and a superb ensemble cast.”  

Waldimar Pelser, director of Premium Channels at M-Net, said: “We are thrilled to announce this latest international co-production from the M-NET stable, and proud to be building new global content partnerships. 

White Lies brings together an exceptional creative team and stellar cast in a riveting story set in Cape Town, an iconic city with great natural beauty but also hidden undercurrents. We believe White Lies will resonate with series lovers locally and globally. Partnerships such as this one with Quizzical Pictures and Fremantle give shows the best shot at reaching their full potential, and cements M-Net’s reputation as the home of world-class entertainment,” he concluded.  

Julie Hodge, vice president editorial, Global Drama at Fremantle said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Natalie again and announce this latest partnership with M-Net and Quizzical. White Lies is a multi-layered, psychological thriller which forces us to examine the darker side of wealth and affluence, and the complexity of family dynamics. I’ve no doubt that White Lies will build upon the stand-out success we have achieved with our first South African drama Reyka and we look forward to partnering again with Quizzical and M-Net on this new journey” 

Harriet Gavshon, creative director, Quizzical Pictures and White Lies Producer added: “We are very happy to be working again with our partners at M-Net and Fremantle, and especially delighted to have Natalie Dormer join our South African cast. Once again, we are happy to showcase the wealth of South African talent both behind and in front of the camera.”  

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