Shahid VIP, the premium Middle East streamer run by MBC Group, will begin premiering Arabic feature films prior to their theatrical release for the first time.
The endeavor will star with the exclusive premiere of Mohamed El Adl’s Saheb El Makam, which will debut on the platform on July 30, the first day of Eid Al-Adha. Starring Yousra, Asser Yassin, and Amina Khalil, the drama revolves around a troubled man whose only hope for a better future is in the hands of one woman who tries to get him closer to God.
Produced by Ahmed El Sobky, the movie is Yousra’s first feature film in nearly eight years, her last being Game Over. It also marks the third collaboration between Yousra and Yassin, who have previously starred together in the film The Yacoubian Building and the TV series Lahazat Harega.
The second film premiere will be Al Hareth, starring Ahmed EL Fishawy and Yasmin Raeis, in August.
The deals mark the first time the VOD platform has secured high-profile features from the region before they screen in theaters, with ongoing coronavirus-related disruption continuing to pose challenges to traditional distribution.
“This is an incredibly exciting milestone in the history of Shahid,” said the service’s Chief Content Officer Jakob Mejhede. “As the leading media company in MENA, it’s our mission to provide unrivalled experiences for our viewers, and given the current climate, it made sense to bring big blockbusters to living rooms even before theatres.”
“Debuting on Shahid VIP marks an exciting future in filmmaking, considering how popular digital streaming services have become amongst Arab audiences,” added director El-Adl. “It’s a new way of making exclusive content accessible to everyone, and I think that the public will back it. It’s also a new way for filmmakers to showcase their work, which is crucial given the current circumstances around the world.”
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