Barry Gilder’s novel The List has been optioned for development as a feature film series or television series by Known Associates Entertainment.
The book was published in September last year by Jacana Media.
‘I am excited about the adaption of The List onto the screen,’ Gilder says. ‘I look forward to working with KA Entertainment and their partners in this challenging but compelling project.’
Rumours have abounded since the early days of South Africa’s democracy that Nelson Mandela had in his possession a list of double agents who have permeated the upper echelons of the ANC during the Struggle years, bent on destroying the newly elected democratic order. The List tells the story of three intelligence agents steeped in the struggle for a free South Africa, bound by a common past. Together they are forced to confront those in their ranks as a potentially devastating infiltration by former apartheid agents threatens to derail the reforms of the newly elected president.
‘The List is in keeping with KAE’s mandate to turn strong literary properties into movies and/or TV series,’ Joel Phiri, chairman of KAE, says. ‘It has all the elements of a great thriller with nail biting twists and turns, fascinating, recognisable characters from our immediate past and present, and an explosive ending. We look forward to adapting it into a great property.’
The List will be produced by Dan Jawitz and Vanessa Jansen, Development Producer at KAE. Executive Producers are Tshepiso Sello and Joel Phiri.
Gilder has extensive experience of government and intelligence. He went into exile in 1976, joined the ANC and MK, underwent intelligence training in the then Soviet Union, served in the ANC underground leadership in Botswana in the 1980s and returned to South Africa in 1991.
He served as deputy director-general of the South African Secret Service, deputy director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, as director-general of the Department of Home Affairs and as South Africa’s Coordinator for Intelligence, and retired from government in 2007.
He has a MA in Creative Writing from Wits University. He is also the author of the non-fiction work Songs & Secrets: South Africa from Liberation to Governance, published by Hurst and Jacana Media in 2012.