Netflix’s first Arabic Production Jinn Dismayed the Middle East

Netflix's first Arabic Production Jinn Dismayed the Middle East
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The first Middle East original, Jinn, the first season of which came out on Thursday 13 June – produced by Master Key Productions and Kabreet Productions – created and directed by Mir-Jean Bou ChaayaElan Dassani and, Rajeev Dassani – stars Salma MalhasSultan AlkhailHamzeh Okab, and Aysha Shahaltough has distressed the audience in the Middle East.

Netflix hosted the launch event in Amman, attended by the cast, crew, media and influencers from across the region as well as local VIPs including the Royal Film Commission of Jordan, an important collaborator throughout production.

Kelly Luegenbiehl, VP International Originals at Netflix said…

“This is a proud day for us at Netflix. The Middle East has a very rich tradition of storytelling and we are excited to connect these great stories with global audiences. Jinn is a distinctly Arab story but with universal themes of love, friendship, humor and adventure which will appeal to young adults everywhere.”

Princess Rym Ali, Member of the Board of Commissioners at the Royal Film Commission and its Interim Managing Director said…

“The RFC was pleased to welcome the first Netflix Arabic content TV series to Jordan, and we are proud that the cast is all Jordanian and Jordanian award-winning director Amin Matalqa directed and wrote some episodes. It is telling that there is a second local content TV series currently being developed here at this time.”

“Jordan has many more local stories that have yet to be written and told, and the RFC is keen to see them come to life through film and TV series. This is one of the main reasons that it has been reviewing its policies regarding incentives, to try and develop and attract more TV series here in Jordan” 

The Plot

Shot in Jordan, the five-episode Arabic-language teenage supernatural drama is set around modern Amman and ancient Petra. Following a school trip to the ruins of Petra, someone at Seven Hills Academy unwittingly invites vengeful jinn – supernatural creatures – into their lives, and the students must attempt to save the day. But how will they pinpoint the angry jinn when everyone in high school seems to be angry about something?

What distressed people?

The complaints came majorly regarding the two scenes in which the actress Salma Milhis kisses two different boys – pretty much for a conservative society such as the Middle East. While there are some complaints about the rough language of the show.

After the show’s release last week, a top Jordanian prosecutor asked the Ministry of the Interior’s cyber crimes unit to take “immediate necessary measures to stop the broadcast,” citing its alleged “immoral scenes.”

The Jordan’s Media Commission issued a statement saying…

It had no control over the production of the series and its role as state censor only applies to TV broadcasts and theater presentations, not streaming services.

Followed by which, the Royal Film Commission of Jordan stated that there’s nothing that can be done. Here is the tweet by RFC depicting the complete statement…

Even more opinion

Jinn being the first Arabic original by Netflix was already popular, this controversy has added skyrocketing metrics to its popularity. As the number of viewers is increasing every hour, social media is getting populated with mixed-opinion as usual…

What’s more?

The OTT giant has promised that it won’t stop with just one series. Netflix will be launching two more Arabic shows in this year itself. One is Al Rawabi School for Girls – another teen-centric series revolving around a bullied girl who seeks revenge. And we also have Paranormal – based on bestselling Arabic horror books by late Egyptian author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik.

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Jayant Arora

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