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Maverick 451 sells the option rights to Six Years With Al Qaeda: The Stephen McGown Story

The Swedish production company Polar Peak Productions has optioned Six Years With Al Qaeda: The Stephen McGown Story.

Polar Peak intends to produce a dramatised adaptation based on the gripping account of the capture and captivity of Stephen McGown, along with two other captives who would collectively become known as the Timbuktu Three, by members of Al Qaeda in 2011.

“The hardships and experiences during Stephen McGown’s captivity are at the core,” says Mr Sune Nises of Polar Peak.

“The story is layered with the personal fears, the doubts, the reflections, and the determination of someone who is caught in this situation. It is about a man who learns to know and understand the individuals, the culture and the religion of his kidnappers, and the despair and the forces that drew them to action. In this, there is a story of special importance, as we see it, in today’s polarised social climate.

It is set against the backdrop of big geopolitical, religious-cultural, and military conflicts. The behind-the-doors diplomacy is by itself dramatic.”

Polar Peak Productions has partnered up with The Film Factory for production in South Africa. “The Film Factory and Danie Bester are well-established partners, with a solid track record,” says Nises. Among other things, they produced Toorbos, based on the novel by Dalene Matthee, which was South Africa’s official submission to the 2021 Academy Awards.

“I’m delighted to be working with Polar Peak on this new venture. As always, a huge thank you to Daily Maverick and Maverick 451 for their unwavering support and dedication to my story. This is going to be a very exciting project!” says Mr McGown.

Six Years With Al Qaeda has seen numerous reprints since its first publication in November 2020. In 2021, it won the SABA (SA Booksellers’ Association Award) in the nonfiction category.

Little, Brown acquired world English rights and published the book under the title Six Years A Hostage in 2021. This deal with Polar Peak was brokered by Catrina Wessels on behalf of Maverick 451.

If you have not yet read this incredible story of resilience of the human spirit, you can pick up a copy at the Daily Maverick Shop.

Translation rights are available. Please contact [email protected].


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