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Netflix lines up first Arabic drama

Global streamer Netflix has chosen a supernatural thriller as its first Arabic original drama.

Jinn, created using Middle Eastern talent, is a six-part contemporary drama. The show focuses on a group of teenagers whose lives are changed when a Jinn – a supernatural creature commonly anglicised as ‘genie’ – which takes the form of a teenage boy, appears to them in the ancient city of Petra.

The show was created by Lebanese director Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya (Very Big Shot) and Jordanian writer Bassel Ghandour (Theeb) in conjunction with twin brother exec producers Elan and Rajeev Dassani (Seam).

“This is a great opportunity to portray Arab youth in a unique way,” said Bou Chaaya. “The level of authenticity Netflix is trying to achieve with this show is definitely what attracted me the most to be part of this project.”

Ghandour added: “It is very common in the Middle East that people know someone who has a Jinn story, so it’s nice to take that and turn it into a fun and mysterious teen adventure that everyone can enjoy.”

Jinn is Netflix’s second project from the Middle East following on from Arabic stand-up comedy Adel Karam: Live from Beirut, which is due to launch next month.

In related news, Netflix has commissioned a property show from UK outfit Barcroft Productions. Amazing on the Inside (working title) will showcase unassuming homes that mask their idiosyncratic and characterful interiors.

The 12×30’ unscripted series will be shot in the UK, Nigeria, Spain and the US and will be exec produced by Sam Barcroft, Peter Wyles and Jude Parker.

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