Burgeoning Saudi Arabian content company Arabia Pictures Group is joining forces with Greece-based audiovisual group Tanweer on a strategic partnership that will see them cooperate on production and distribution across all formats in the Middle East and North Africa.
They have kicked off the partnership with the development and production of a slate of three features to be shot in the MENA region and directed by emerging talents.
The first title on the slate is romantic comedy #Gawwezni starring U.K.-Egyptian star Amir El-Masry, which has recently wrapped filming. El-Masry, whose credits include Limbo and Industry and is soon to be seen in Netflix’s The Crown and Jessica Hausner’s Club Zero, plays a man who falls madly in love but when a spell is cast on him cannot act on his feelings, leading to a series of comic situation.
The cast also features Egyptian actress Mayan El Sayed and veteran actors Sabrin and Bayoumi Fouad. The feature is directed by first-time filmmaker Essam Nassar, who made a name for himself with successful commercials and music videos.
“We are thrilled to work with such a media powerhouse as Tanweer, and our partnership involves many projects from film production to talent development to investments in new technologies,” said Arabia Pictures Group CEO Roua Almadani. “Producing original content together will keep empowering storytellers from the region in sharing their distinctive stories.”
Tanweer has been active in Greece, Cyprus, the Middle East, India and Turkey, for over 30 years. Recent productions include the award-winning Greek series Smyrna.
“We are confident to join forces with Arabia Pictures Group on crafting an original slate and in bringing quality genre films to audiences worldwide. We’re also aiming at collaborating together on Web3 and much more,” said Samaan.
#Gawwezni is due to hit cinemas in Saudi Arabia and the wider MENA region by the end of 2022.
“We are trying to cater to our audiences in delivering entertaining quality films,” said Rony Mitri, Managing Director of Arabia Pictures Distribution.
“APG will theatrically release the films in KSA and the Gulf Territories. While our partner Tanweer will release the films across Europe, Asia and North America simultaneously with MENA.”
The three-picture pact also involves Egyptian production company Vibrations Studios.
Almadani launched Arabia Pictures Group with Abdulelah Al-Ahmary in the wake of the lifting in 2018 of Saudi Arabia’s 35-year cinema ban
The media and entertainment group has since embarked on an ambitious expansion drive to forge ties with a number of international partners in recent months.
The news of the Tanweer partnership comes hot on the heels of the announcement in August that it had formed an alliance with India’s Eros Media World.