STARZPLAY & Image Nation Abu Dhabi Pact for Original Series


STARZPLAY has entered into a partnership with Image Nation Abu Dhabi regarding the production of original Arabic content.

Production will start in 2020 with the Arabic-language content set to be released toward the end of the year. The project will be an anthology of urban legends, with each episode telling a different story. The series will explore regional tales and fables from the Middle East.

The series will be produced by Yasir Al-Yasiri (Shebab Sheybab) under his production company with Mansoor Al Feeli, Starship Entertainment. Al-Yasiri is also attached to direct one of the episodes, with further regional directors to be announced.

Maaz Sheikh, co-founder and CEO at STARZPLAY, said: “This is a real milestone in STARZPLAY’s development as we enter into a new realm, producing our own original Arabic content for the first time. As we continue to focus on the customer and delivering the highest value in terms of quality content and accessibility, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with one of the region’s leading production houses that has gained international acclaim for its quality films, series and documentaries. We hope this is the beginning of a long and productive journey with Image Nation as we enter into the original content space, initially with a focus on Arabic language.”

Michael Garin, CEO at Image Nation Abu Dhabi, said: “This region is home to a huge audience of content consumers who are eager to watch locally-made content that represents and resonates with them. As such, we are delighted to enter into this partnership with STARZPLAY as it begins producing original content for the MENA region and we continue to build a self-sustainable and creative media industry in the Middle East.”

Khaled Benchouche, senior VP of programming and acquisitions at STARZPLAY, added: “We’re very excited to venture into our own original production for the first time. We hope the content will prove appealing and engaging to our subscriber base, with a gripping anthology of urban legends from across the Middle East region, at times entering into the ever-popular psychological thriller category. The six stand-alone stories will capture the essence of Middle East mythology, steeped in regional culture with fantastical and elaborate imagery bringing these ancient stories into the future for a modern audience.”

Ben Ross, chief content officer at Image Nation Abu Dhabi, added: “Image Nation Abu Dhabi prides itself on creating international-standard entertainment while maintaining the local and regional perspectives that we know audiences are eager to see. As a platform with a MENA focus, STARZPLAY is the perfect partner for this project and we are excited to help launch this milestone series for audiences in this region and beyond.”