Netflix adding 44 Arabic films to its worldwide catalogue

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A behind-the-scenes photo of director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya on the set of Netflix’s first original Arabic series ‘Jinn’. (Photo: Ahmad Blaibleh/Netflix)
A behind-the-scenes photo of director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya on the set of Netflix’s first original Arabic series ‘Jinn’. (Photo: Ahmad Blaibleh/Netflix)
  • Netflix is releasing a wide selection of critically-acclaimed Arabic films that will stream globally to 183 million subscribers worldwide.  
  • The 44 films will be a mix between iconic and Arabic contemporary films.
  • All the films will include subtitles relevant to those countries where they are available for streaming.

Netflix, the world's leading internet entertainment service, in a statement to the media announced that it would be releasing a new catalogue of 44 movies blending iconic and Arabic contemporary films.

This would include the works of notable directors like Youssef Chahine, Youssry Nasrallah, Nadine Labaki, Moustapha Akkad, Anne Marie Jacir, Laila Marrakchi and many more. 

Earlier in May, Netflix released a collection of comedy plays to audiences worldwide which included El Eyal Kebret, Al Motzawgoon, Bye Bye London, Raya w Skeina, Morahek Fl Khamseen, Shahid Ma Shafsh Haga, Sok Ala Banatak, Madraset Almoshagbien, and Elwad Sayed Elshagal

The plays are available on Netflix through a dedicated row on the service called "Arabic Nostalgia".

The new catalogue combines cinematic masterpieces with contemporary rising stars from the Arab world's entertainment industry and includes stories that come from the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Algeria, and Sudan. 

"We want more people around the world to have access to great stories and have the chance to see their lives represented on screen. 

"We also believe that great stories come from anywhere and can travel everywhere connecting with audiences far beyond their place or language of origin. We're honoured to share these classic and contemporary films with our members in the Arab world and globally," said Nuha El Tayeb, Director of Content Acquisitions MENAT at Netflix.

All the films will include subtitles relevant to those countries where they are streaming in either English, Arabic or French. 

Previous controversy

In 2019 Netflix released its first Arabic original series Jinn, directed by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya and Amin Matalqa, which tells the story of a girl who accidentally releases a jinn in the form of a teenage boy and learns she has unleashed an ancient darkness that threatens the world.

The series sparked uproar in Jordan where it is set, reports Business Insider

According to Middle East Eye most of the controversy centred around "a tame kiss and overt foul language". 

On 13 June this year director Mir-Jean celebrated the series' first year on the international streaming platform, saying on Instagram: "Happy first anniversary to what was supposed to be a simple and fun show but turned out to be a much needed tool to peel off layers of hypocrisy rooted in the Arab world. [sic]"

Compiled by Herman Eloff. (Source: Netflix, Business Insider, Middle East Eye)

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