Arab sci-fi drama brings top Middle East talent to MBC Group’s Shahid VIP

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Top acting talent from the Middle East will hit the screens this summer when the first Arab sci-fi drama debuts on streaming service Shahid VIP.

‘Hell’s Gate’ is an upcoming Shahid Original series, set to be streamed exclusively on the premium, subscription-based service.

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Running the country is a group of private investors and businesses acting as the puppet masters of politicians. Known as the ‘Union State,’ they are not using the country for the benefit of the people. Fighting the corrupt regime is Tawara, a revolutionary group committed to defeat those set to bring down, what is left of a proper government.

Directed by Lebanese visual artist and International Emmy Award winner Amin Dora, “Hell’s Gate” features a stellar cast and crew uniting talent from the Middle East and beyond.

The characters in the drama are all played by a plethora of international actors. These nclude, Palestinian actor Adam Bakri, alongside Lebanon’s Cynthia Samuel, Fadi Abi Samra, Hassan Farhat, Yara Zakhour, Said Serhan, Yumna Marwan, Tarek Yaacoub, Mounir Maasri and Elie Njeim.

Famed Lebanese designer Zeina Saab de Melero is at the helm of the show’s costume design.

As the world’s leading Arabic streaming platform earlier this year Saudi Arabian-based Shahid VIP announced a record year with a tenfold increase of subscribers.

Relaunched in January 2020, the streaming service achieved several milestones that year, and saw a surge in online business as a series of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns around the world changed consumer behavior.

Owned by MBC Group, the streaming service introduced an international service in November last year, with an English language interface.

Around 60 percent of new international users came from the US and Canada, while the UK, Australia, France, Sweden, and other parts of Europe attracted sizeable audiences.

“Welcoming additional territories has resulted in more diversified content trends, with different territories opting for different exclusive titles and genres,” said Jakob Mejlhede Andersen, Chief Content Officer at Shahid.

“We’ve been able to consistently provide premium content to our audiences throughout the year, including a huge offering for the Ramadan season.”

Shahid VIP’s original programming has seen increased investment, he said.

“As our ways of consuming content changes, so too does the demand for more diverse storytelling in the region,” added Andersen.

“Societies are continuously evolving; modern Arab consumers are hungry for a large variety of Arabic-language productions that address social and cultural topics never seen before on screen, for example.

“We’re proud to be leading in providing highly-rated original productions that reach audiences from a multitude of Arab territories.”

Hell’s Gate release date will be revealed soon.

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