Ex-OSN, WBD Execs Unveil Rise Studios


Emad Morcos and Amel Farag, formerly of OSN, and Amanda Turnbull, previously with Warner Bros. Discovery, have unveiled Rise Studios, which will focus on developing content out of the Middle East and North Africa.

Morcos is the former chief content and commercial officer at the MEA pay-TV platform. He is aligning with Farag, OSN’s ex-head of content commercial strategy, and Turnbull, previously GM for the Middle East, Africa and Turkey at WBD, on the new venture, which will drive investment into local content and talent. The company is backed by Great Mountain Partners (GMP).

The group is creating an ecosystem of local talent that already includes Egypt’s Partner Pro (Finding Ola), which produces series and movies; Lebanese and UAE-based factual reality specialist Different Productions (Dubai Bling), headed by Mazen Laham; and Watan Network, a multichannel network headed by Bassel Khair. Also within the ecosystem is Black Typhoon, headed by Omar Hussein, which is developing original content in Saudi Arabia.

“We believe that stories can be told differently and champion rich regional narratives that resonate locally and travel globally, leaving lasting impressions,” said Morcos, chairman at Rise Studios. “Through collective commercial expertise and data intelligence, we pinpoint the right content for the right platforms, while discovering, supporting, and giving regional talent the recognition that it deserves.”

“We are excited about partnering with Great Mountain Partners for this venture as a specialist media and entertainment global investor, with immediate access for Rise to an ecosystem of IP producers from across North America and Europe,” commented Turnbull, CEO and co-founder for Rise Studios.

“We see great potential in content and talent from the Middle East and are enthused about investing in Rise Studios, led by exceptional industry experts that will further enable and elevate the regional industry on the global stage,” added Alex Thomson, founder at Great Mountain Partners.