Saudi Arabia set to become top regional TV production hub

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Johannes Larcher. (Supplied)
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Ahd El Dam (The Testament of Blood), starring Bassel Khayat. (Supplied)
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Al Ameed (The Dean), starring Taim Hasan and Caress Bashar. (Supplied)
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Al Leiba (The Game), starring Hesham Maged and Shiko. (Supplied)
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Boxing Girls 2, starring Mila Al-Zahrani, Al-Anoud Saoud, Noura Al-Asr, Mohamad Meshaal, Dana Al-Salem, Abeer Sandar, Fatima Al-Husni, Shajart Durr. (Supplied)
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Dahaya Halal (Halal Victims), starring Sanaa Bakr Youness, Mila Al-Zahrani, Al-Anoud Saoud, Nisrine Al-Rady and Khaled Sakr. (Supplied)
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El Diva, starring Cyrine Abdel Nour, Yacob Alfarhan and Bosi. (Supplied)
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Every Week Has A Friday (EWHAF), starring Menna Shalaby, Asser Yassine and Sawsan Badr. (Supplied)
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Huna Al Ard (This is Earth), starring Salam Katanan, Hisham Affifi, Maha Jaafar, Abdul-Rahman Al-Shaikhi, Reem Nadar, Maya Akra and Saeed Duzdar. (Supplied)
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Khrays, starring Osama Saleh, Saleh Alajmi, Rakan Zahid, Omar Saleh and Abdulrahman Alremy. (Supplied)
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Mamlakit Iblis (Kingdom of the Devil), starring Ghada Adel, Rania Youssef, Ahmed Dawood, Eman Alassi, Karim Kassem, Salwa Khattab, Sabri Fawaz, Mahmoud Laithy and Asmaa Jalal. (Supplied)
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Nemra Etnein (No.2), starring Mona Zaki, Nelly Karim, Amr Youssef, Sherine Reda, Ahmed Malek, Amina Khalil, Saba Mubarak, Adel Karam, Iyad Nassar and Sara Tayba. (Supplied)
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Rahala, starring Ingi Abousaoud, Ali Al-Sayed, Naeema Almaqbali, Marwan Younes, Turki Al-Mohsen and Ayham Shalhoub. (Supplied)
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The Red Prince, starring Tayem Hassan. (Supplied)
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Umm El Qalayid, starring Meshaal Al-Mutairi, Mohamad Khaled Al-Qass, Deryaan Al-Dreyaan, Zara Al-Bloushi and Saeed Saleh. (Supplied)
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Updated 18 February 2020

Saudi Arabia set to become top regional TV production hub

  • “Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment will be a good breeding ground”

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has the potential to become one of the Middle East’s leading TV production hubs, according to MBC executive Johannes Larcher.

It comes as the region’s biggest broadcaster plans to establish its headquarters in Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment.

“We want Saudi Arabia to emerge as one of the centers of great content production in the region besides Egypt and Lebanon,” said Larcher, who oversees MBC’s Shahid video-on-demand (VOD) platform. “We see ourselves doing more and more there. There is significant investment under the Vision 2030 plan and it goes into the entertainment industry — everything from developing acting schools and sound stages to encouraging physical production in Saudi. It’s a big theme for the Saudi government and we are very supportive of that.”

The Kingdom is the location for the shooting of “Dahaya Halal” (Halal victims), one of MBC’s big new productions for 2020.

Earlier this month MBC Group CEO Marc Antoine d’Halluin revealed plans to become an anchor tenant in the new media zone in the Saudi capital. “The diversity of our team and the richness of our human capital will offer new skillsets to young Saudis joining the media industry, coupled with high professional standards and global best practices,” he told MBC staff in a memo.

“I’m confident that Riyadh’s new creative zone for art, media and entertainment will be a good breeding ground for sector growth, expansion and innovation. In fact, it will attract and retain the best and most innovative players, and MBC Group’s new Saudi HQ will be at the heart of it.”


Mexican journalists protest over colleague’s murder

Maria Elena Ferral. (Social media)
Updated 01 April 2020

Mexican journalists protest over colleague’s murder

  • Ferral had many times complained of death threats and aggressions she suffered from local political figures

COATZACOALCOS, MEXICO: Journalists in Mexico’s eastern state of Veracruz protested on Tuesday against the murder of a reporter, demanding justice in a country that is notoriously dangerous for the press.
Maria Elena Ferral, a correspondent for the Diario de Xalapa daily newspaper, was shot by two assailants on motorbikes when getting into her car, local officials said on Monday.
Carrying banners and placards, journalists blocked a motorway, demanded justice and asked for police to use Ferral’s work as a starting point for their investigation.
Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for reporters, with more than 100 murdered since 2000.
This was the first such murder recorded in the country this year, though.
The Veracruz journalists network released a statement asking Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to “investigate the threats and background that she denounced previously.”
The local public prosecutor promised there would be “no impunity” for Ferral’s murderers.
Ferral had many times complained of death threats and aggressions she suffered from local political figures.
She worked in the Papantla mountainous area, around 300 kilometers from the port of Veracruz, known for the regular disappearance of people at the hands of the police.