Netflix Signs 5-Year Deal With Saudi Animation Studio Myrkott
Riyadh-based studio Myrkott, creators of the satirical Youtube-series-turned-theatrical-feature Masameer, has signed an exclusive five-year partnership with Netflix to produce Saudi-focused animated series and films.
The deal also gives Netflix a first-look option on all of Myrkott’s upcoming projects.
According to Arab News, which reported news of the deal, Myrkott will now produce new seasons of its flagship Masameer series exclusively for Netflix, along with Masameer films, a new original adult animated series, an original feature film, as well as provide new edits of earlier episodes of Masameer.
The deal represents Netflix’s largest investment in Arab animation to date, and represents the streamer’s growing focus on content produced specifically for audiences in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“Myrkott is at the forefront of creative storytelling and animation in the region, and we’re continually investing in young Saudi creatives to share their stories across the Arab world and globally,” Nuha Eltayeb, Netflix’s director of content acquisitions for the MENA region and Turkey, told Arab News.
Myrkott CEO and co-founder Abdulaziz al-Muzaini (pictured top, right) added in a statement, “We at Myrkott think about this partnership beyond the production aspects, by working with Netflix we inspire Saudi and Arab talents to dream big and support an ecosystem that recognizes equal opportunity, talent and creativity, these are the values that fueled Myrkott in its pursuit of excellence throughout the years.”
Speaking more broadly on Netflix’s commitment to the region, Eltayeb said:
We have embraced the Arab world’s uniqueness and developed a regional investment strategy that caters to the nuances of audiences in the region. We’re rapidly expanding our library of Arabic content, investing in more original Arabic productions, localizing content via subbing and dubbing efforts, partnering with businesses, and hiring people from the region dedicated to spearheading our growth in the Arab world.
We want to empower Arab storytellers with the tools they need to tell the best version of their stories, and then help connect these stories with a global audience so we’re able to export cultures that were previously underserved and underrepresented.
We know that giving Arabs the opportunity to see themselves on screen instills pride, and we want to be a meaningful part of the creative communities in the region – not only by creating content that is made by Arabs for Arabs, but by exposing Arabic shows and films to the world and providing local talent and filmmakers with a platform to gain fans globally.
Eltayeb added that it is also dubbing Netflix’s original animated features, like The Willoughbys and the upcoming Over the Moon, in Egyptian dialect in addition to its modern standard Arabic dubs, to give viewers in the region more choices for how they consume its non-Arab content.
Earlier this year, Cartoon Brew interviewed Myrkott co-founder Malik Nejer (pictured top, left) about how the studio was able to produce its first feature, Masameer: The Movie, in just eight months.