Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has announced plans to launch in the Middle East next year. During a session at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Sarandos discussed plans to expand Netflixs offering to include locally produced content and, with the support of the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), to engage with local talent […]
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos has announced plans to launch in the Middle East next year. During a session at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), Sarandos discussed plans to expand Netflixs offering to include locally produced content and, with the support of the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), to engage with local talent and invite them to pitch their content ideas next year.
During the session, Sarandos said: “I think the most interesting opportunity that Netflix brings not just to the region but also to the rest of the world, is the ability to take very local stories and make them global. Today, we are producing local programming in their original language in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, France and we intend to do it around the world.
He added: Whats missing on the global stage is a really great scripted series about contemporary life in the Middle East. Most depictions outside of the region are either historical or almost caricatures of what someone from the Middle East would be, and I am very enthusiastic to find great storytellers, filmmakers and actors from the region, to tell long form scripted stories about contemporary life in the Middle East.
He added: “Our international experience has been really fascinating, because of the powerful reach of our global series, such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, which have positioned Netflix as a well-known global brand, and have enormous audiences both in the US and around the world.
On the international distribution of regional productions, Sarandos said: “The real benefit of having a big global base is that you can bring licencing and production dollars to almost every corner of the world, to produce and distribute a really good product.”
He also said that Netflix will collaborate with DFTC to arrange series of workshops in Dubai next year, for talent from the region to showcase their ideas and content.
Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission and Managing Director of Dubai Studio City commented: Netflix is one of the worlds strongest media platforms which will be providing a great opportunity for this regions strong talent pool available to create local original content on a global scale. We have seen an increasing amount of high-quality content produced here in the region, and Netflixs decision to establish its presence here is testament to Dubai and the Middle Easts position as a dynamic filming hub.