Emmy winner, Judy Davis (Best Supporting Actress, The Starting Wife), joins the production of Rough, a 2 part adventure/drama mini-series, currently filming in South Africa and on

On set at Le Chatelet, Sandhurst. From left to right: British actor, James Purefoy, Canadian Producer Jennifer Kawaja, SA Producer, Philo Pieterse, Script Supervisor, Robyn Aronstam and Line Producer: Johan Kruger.
Photo credit: Blid Alsbirk
location in downtown Johannesburg.


British Directors Andy Wilson and John McKay are at the helm of David Vainola’s (CA) screenplay. The international cast is headed up by the multiple award-winning Davis (Marie Antoinette), and British artists include James Purefoy (Marc Anthony in the series Rome), Sir Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), and Louise Rose (Dream Team). Among the stellar South African cast are Marius Weyers (Blood Diamond), Jeremy Crutchley (Lord of War), and newcomers Mbongeni Nhlapo and Njabulo Qobose.

Rough is a Canadian (Sienna Films), South African (Philo Pieterse – Love Reigns (Pty) Ltd), British (Alchemy Television Productions) co-production. The series is executive produced by award-winning Canadian producing partners, Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, and Carrie Stein. Philo Pieterse is the South African producing partner along with Nick Witkowski in the UK. The series is associate produced by Elise Cousineau (CA), with Georges Campana (France) serving as Production Executive.

In the tradition of epic mini-series events, Rough weaves together five story strands, each providing a different perspective of the world of diamond trading and the enigmatic characters that inhabit it. The intertwined sagas encompass power, war, sex and politics in the shocking and exploitative world of diamonds.

Ruthless Lucas Denmont (James Purefoy) is heir to his family’s once mighty, but now faltering, diamond conglomerate. Voracious and desperate to restore the business to its former

 glory, Denmont will stop at nothing; a stunning British model (Louise Rose) - with roots in West Africa - is recruited as “the face” of the Denmont diamond - and Denmont’s ‘diamond girl’- when she and Lucas fall deeply in love.


The unsolved murder of her geologist daughter pulls an American Senator, Joan Cameron (Judy Davis), into a massive investigation of the global diamond trade. Her daughter’s co-worker, Stephanie, meanwhile, flees her guilt in the remote Canadian Arctic where she signs on with a prospector who is struggling to keep the diamond discovery – he’s on the verge of making – out of the hands of a rival exploration company controlled by the Denmont Corporation.

On the ground in Sierra Leone, an orphaned boy’s horrific experiences as a child soldier for a vicious rebel movement force him into diamond theft in order to seek a better life.

As it interweaves its gripping storylines, Rough cuts to the heart of the diamond: a dazzling chronicle of human desire.

“It’s great to be shooting this story, there are so many layers, so many ways into this world and we are trying to capture this.” says producer, Jennifer Kawaja.

“We are proud to have been successful in having a partnership with Jennifer Kawaja and Julia Sereny, and for South Africa to be one of the principle locations in the production.” says Philo Pieterse.

In the upcoming months the epic adventure/drama is filming on location in 3 countries: in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, in the United Kingdom, and in Canada – where filming wraps in December.

Alchemy Television Distribution is distributing and, to date, the series has been licensed to broadcasters in Canada (CBC), France (Canal Plus), Spain (Antenna) and South Africa (SABC).