Netflix has picked up a slew of short firms from Saudi Arabia start-up Telfaz11 Studios.
The streamer has nabbed six films, which aim to shine a light on thought-provoking subjects with a focus on social themes. The films will be available to watch in 190 countries from February 27.
The digital platform will badge the films under the banner Six Windows in the Desert.
The movies shine light on topics that are universal in nature; social taboos, extremism and the human psyche are among the issues viewers can expect to watch. They will offer audiences a lens into the perspective of the Saudi creators.
The films are 27th of Shaban, Wasati, Is Sumyati going to Hell?, Predicament in Sight, The Rat and Curtain.
27th of Shaban, from Mohamed Al Salman, follows Mohammed and Nouf who go on a date, an act prohibited in Saudi Arabia. Wasati, directed by Ali Khami, is based on the true story of extremists attacking a play called Wasati bela Wastiah A Moderate without Moderation in Riyadh 10 years ago. The film retells the events from a different point of view. Is Sumyati going to Hell?, directed by Meshal Al Jaser, is told through the eyes of Layan, the youngest child of a family who employs housemaid Sumyati. Having to deal with the racism of her employers, Sumyati tries to survive. Predicament in Sight, directed by Fairs Godus, is a science-fiction short set in the 1970s and follows the survivors of a plane crash in an isolated desert area are forced to co-exist after multiple attempts to communicate with the outside world had failed. The Rat, written and directed by Faisal Al Amer, follows Fahad, who spends the last day of his life with the fear of his father looming over his head. Like a rat on a wheel, Fahad scurries through cycles of fear characterized by different aspects of his father and tries to break free. Curtain, directed by Mohamed Alsalman, follows a female nurse escaping traumatic events faces fear and judgement at her workplace.
Nuha ElTayeb, Director of Content Acquisition at Netflix, said, “It is our strong belief that a great story can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere. With the vast number of local talents and creators all over the world, the potential for diverse and interesting stories is endless. We are excited to bring Six Windows in the Desert to our subscribers across 190 countries, where they will have exclusive access to captivating and intriguing stories from the Arab world.”
Alaa Fadan, Chief Executive Officer at Telfaz11 Studios, added, “It brings us immense pride to have six of our short films brought onto Netflix. We are excited to bring the work of local Saudi talents to 167 million subscribers around the world. Telfaz11 Studios produces authentic and intriguing stories from our culture, and we cannot wait for the world to see what we have to offer.”