Paranormal, the first Egyptian Netflix Original, debuts on Netflix today. The show is based on the popular series by Ahmed Khaled Tawfik which has sold over 15 million copies.
“Our plan is: invest in Arab creators, in Arab production, in Arab content. We have announced four projects, plus ‘Paranormal’.”Ahmed Sharkawi, Netflix Director of Arabic and African Original Series
Set during the 1960s in Egypt, Paranormal follows Dr. Refaat Ismail, a hematologist plunged into a series of supernatural events as he attempts to unravel the mysteries behind each unique and unusual case. The show’s cast includes Ahmed Amin, Razane Jammal and Ayah Samaha.
Speaking to Reuters, Netflix and Paranormal’s producers and cast had the following to say on the show’s debut. Ahmed Sharkawi, Netflix’s Director of Arabic and African Original Series, said, “Our plan is: invest in Arab creators, in Arab production, in Arab content. We have announced four projects, plus ‘Paranormal’.”
“This is one of my life’s projects. I loved (the novels) since I was a kid … We’ve been trying to get (a series) out since 2006, so finally it has been shown to the audience,” said Paranormal’s creator, Amr Salama.
Ahmed Amin who portrays Ismail added, “We are on a global platform… so this is an opportunity that is different from any other opportunity we’ve worked on. We can now have fans from other regions, other countries, who speak other languages.”
Netflix’s Regional Strategy
Since launching in the Middle East four years ago, Netflix has expanded its library of Arabic and MENA content. The company says Paranormal reflects its “dedication to investment in Middle Eastern Arabic content” and will “give filmmakers and audiences in the Middle East presence on a global platform to both tell and enjoy a variety of exciting new stories.”
Paranormal is the platform’s third Middle Eastern original following Jordanian productions Jinn and AlRawabi School for Girls which both debuted in 2019.
More recently, Drama Queen, another Egyptian Original series featuring Abla Fahita, completed production last month and is set to premiere in early 2021. In addition, in August the streaming platform announced a new project with Egyptian singer Amr Diab.
You can watch Paranormal’s official trailer here.
For more regional streaming coverage check out…
- Netflix Acquires Six Short Films From Saudi Arabia
- Shahid Partners with Fox, Disney and Spotify
- Did Video Dominate the 2010’s? And What to Expect in the 2020’s
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