Yalla Yalla is a Dubai-based film and television company. It was formed by Front Row Filmed Entertainment and UK sales and production outfit, Rocket Science. This platform targets the Arabic-language entertainment sector with new content in the MENA region.
‘MENA’ is an abbreviation for the Middle East and North Africa. The following countries are typically included in MENA: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, West Bank, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Gaza, and Yemen.
Yalla Yalla will create, package, produce and fund television and feature film projects for the fast-expanding MENA, with a view of expanding beyond the region. The team involved has been active in the obtaining remake rights as well as developing original content for both theatrical and television with the motive of having two television series and four feature films produced within the first 18 months.
Front Row and its partner, Kuwait National Cinema Company will harness their regional relationships with tastemakers, filmmakers and financiers. Also, Rocket Science will leverage its talent, financing and producing relationship in the US and Europe
The company will partner with ex-Wild Bunch head of acquisitions, Rita Dagher, who will serve as a creative producer. Her credits include the likes of “Fahrenheit 9/11”, “A Prayer Before Dawn”, “Four Lions” and “Miss Julie”. Dagher is also in the process of staffing up the Dubai team.
Rocket Science’s Thorsten Schumacher and Gianluca Chakra of Front Row Filmed Entertainment said, “Creating this new venture felt natural to us and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The company’s complementary relationships, expertise, and positioning establish a solid foundation to make this company thrive as the leading content player in the Middle East as the MENA region expands. Rita’s knowledge and experience in the MENA region and internationally will be crucial in identifying projects and local talent and giving these projects life”.
Dagher added that MENA has loads of powerful stories yet to be heard. “Yalla Yalla will become a home for a new wave of exciting and various filmmakers with unique voices to tell their stories and embrace all kinds of formats and genres. Our aim is to urge filmmakers to follow a new path and be part of, not just the Arab World, but also an international one”.
Front Row has also revealed its production arm by acquiring the Arabic language remake rights of the Egyptian/British co-production Luxor and the Italian hit Perfect Strangers (Perfetti Sconosciuti).
Rocket Science and Front Row are also collaborating on the development and production of Cliffhanger and Queen Mary, among other titles, which will be disclosed at a later date.