We’re in the endless pursuit of worthy suggestions—and as hard-core fans of Arabic-original content, we scour every streaming service.
This is an exciting time for Arabic productions. Is that surprising?
Popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Starzplay, and OSN are all amping up investment in Arabic content, with several releases planned for this year.
Enriched with compelling storylines and bold characters, these films and series are watch-worthy. All you need is sweatpants and popcorn.
Alkhallat+ is a Saudi comedy thriller, based on Telfaz11’s YouTube series Alkhallat, which was first released in 2017 and garnered more than 1.5 billion views. Directed by Fahad Alammari, the film stars Aziz Alshehri, Mohamed Aldokhie, Ibraheem Alkhairallah, Ibraheem Alhajjaj, Fahad Albutairi, Suhaib Godus, Ziyad Alamri, and Ismail Alhassan. Featuring four comeback stories of social deception and trickery, Alkhallat+ is the first of eight films that will be released as the result of a partnership between Netflix and Telfaz11.
Set in Kuwait in 1988, The Exchange is a series that revolves around two women making their way into the boys club of the Kuwait Stock Exchange on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of the country. The drama was conceived and written by celebrity TV presenter, actress, and activist Nadia Ahmad, with Anne and Adam Sobel, and is directed by Egyptian director Karim Elshenawy and Kuwaiti filmmaker Jasem AlMuhanna. It stars Rawan Mahdi, Mona Hussain, Hussain Al-Mahdi, Mohamed Mansour, Faisal Al-Amiri, Jasemal Nabhan, Maryam Salih, Asmahan Tawfiq, Abdullah Bahman, and others. The series is out on February 8.
Set in different eras and across cities, Starzplay’s Kaboos is a retelling of Arab folklore created in collaboration with Emirati content powerhouse Image Nation Abu Dhabi. The series takes viewers through urban legends from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and the UAE, with five standalone episodes. The series, spanning different horror genres, from supernatural and classic horror stories to noir psychological thrillers, is set to stream on February 9.
Masameer County Season 2
Masameer Country is an animation series that is a comedic view of a changing Saudi Arabia, with the Masameer team heading into a long-standing tribal feud, a media war, and a health craze gone too far. Created by Malik Nejer and Abdul Aziz AlMuzaini, and stars Abdulaziz AlShehri, Mazroa AlMazroa, Ibraheem AlKhairallah, Shahad AlAhmari, and Yusuf AlDakhil, the series is part of Netflix’s five-year exclusive partnership with Saudi Arabian animation studio Myrkott, signed last year to produce Saudi-focused shows and films. The new season is slated to release on July 1.
Directed by Abdul-Mohsen Al-Dhabaan, The Matchmaker is a psychological thriller with a supernatural slant set in Al Ula and will release early this year. Directed by Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan, the film is based on themes of morality and stars Hussam Alharthy, Reem Al-Habib, and Nour Alkhadra.
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