ⓘ Featured image: a snapshot of Paranormal, a Netflix Arabic orginal series created by Amr Salama
Global OTT and entertainment giant Netflix, today announced the release of its next Arabic original series, Paranormal. The company said that five more series planned for the Arabic audience will be launched within the next 12 months. The news flashed first on Arabian Business.
Ahmed Sharkawi, Netflix director for Arabic original series, said that Paranormal will debut on Thursday. The six-episode series is filmed in Egypt and created by Amr Salama, based on popular books.
Speaking of the which, Sharkawi in a statement said,
“It’s been the dream of the director Amr Salama for 15 years to make the show and we’re so happy that finally it is coming to life. We are, of course, thrilled that the book fans will finally see their favourite characters and monsters and ghosts, the ones that they read about, that’s finally coming on screen,”
“Other than the major fans, we expect as well that anyone who’s a fan of the supernatural genre will find a well-told story, multiple adventures coming in six episodes and we are betting that the show will have an international appeal as well.” Sharkawi continued
Sharkavi also revealed that more projects will be launched within the next 12 months, including the two shows with finished production, ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’, written and directed by Jordanian director Tima Shomali in collaboration with writer Shirin Kamal; and the first comedy series for Abla Fahita, the iconic diva of talk shows, the puppet, in her first screen acting gig.
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Netflix also said that the company is working with Tunisian award-winning star Hend Sabry, on the first show that she will be starring in and executive producing herself, a female-centred dramedy; and Sharkawi revealed there is the mega-project with international pop star Amr Diab, who is making his first comeback to drama in 27 years.
Netflix also recently signed a five-year exclusive partnership with Saudi Arabian animation studio Myrkott, to produce Saudi-focused shows and films.
On similar lines, Sharkawi said,
“We’re growing both the size of the library in terms of the size of the acquisitions and we’re growing the investment in general on the originals. Very soon we will be announcing some more original shows that will be coming to the service.”
He said that currently there are no plans of opening a regional office in the Middle East due to the COVID-19 scenario, but the region and Arabic audience is crucial for Netflix’s future plans.
“It’s an important region for us, but what’s even more important is for us to take those stories and make them available in the 190 countries and give them the platform for those stories to be seen across the globe,” said Sharkawi
Paranormal is the second instalment in Arabic Original series – following Jinn which was launched last year in June, set in Amman and old Petra, Jordan. The series had a good setup but a few setbacks dismayed the audience of the Middle East. Later in the same month, Netflix made the announcement for ‘Al-Rawabi School for Girls’, and Paranormal.
Dubai-based Starz Play, a regional OTT player directly competes with Netflix with its roots from the Arab World. In July 2019, the company made the announcement of the launch of its first Arabic original series.