DUBAI: Giant streaming service Netflix this week released two films by Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al-Khaja: her first full-length feature film “The Shadow” and her 2016 short “Animal.”
“Thank you, Netflix, for selecting both films for a worldwide release,” the director wrote to her 22,500 followers on Instagram. “I have received messages from different continents and connected with other storytellers because of this.”
She added: “This is a wonderful positive step toward what’s ahead, especially for female voices in the MENA region. The feedback and reviews have been overwhelming.”
Al-Khaja is widely recognized as the UAE’s first independent female filmmaker. Her previous work includes short films “The Neighbor” and “Malal.”
Earlier this year, Al-Khaja teamed up with award-winning Indian composer A.R. Rahman for her upcoming feature film “Baab,” which she describes as her first “arthouse” movie.