Cinema in the living room: Shahid VIP introduces new experience for subscribers, launching Arabic blockbusters exclusively prior to theatrical release

Service debuts on Eid Al Adha, with the launch of the Egyptian drama, “Saheb El Makam” starring Yousra and Asser Yassin

Shahid VIP is bringing exclusive Arabic-language blockbusters to its service — prior to their release in theatres.

A regional industry first by Shahid VIP, and the first of its kind in the Middle East for content consumers, this new initiative will showcase new top-budget releases, featuring some of the Arab entertainment world’s biggest stars.

Shahid VIP’s first pre-theatrical release will arrive on the service on the first day of Eid Al-Adha (30 July 2020), with the debut of “Saheb El Makam.” Starring Yousra, Asser Yassin, and Amina Khalil, the drama revolves around a troubled man whose only hope for the better future is in the hands of one woman who tries to get him closer to God. But will it all go to her plan?

Jakob Mejhede, Chief Content Officer of Shahid stated: “This is an incredibly exciting milestone in the history of Shahid. As the leading media company in MENA, it’s our mission to provide unrivalled experiences for our viewers, and given the current climate, it made sense to bring big blockbusters to living rooms even before theatres.

“We’re excited for what lies ahead with this brand-new initiative in the region.”

Directed by Mohamed El Adl and produced by Ahmed El Sobky, “Saheb El Makam” is Yousra’s first feature film in nearly eight years, her last being “Game Over”. It also marks the third collaboration between Yousra and Yassin, who have previously starred together in the film “The Yacoubian Building,” and the TV series, “Lahazat Harega”.

Commenting on the release, Yousra said: “I usually prefer to play characters that I have never portrayed before, and so this project definitely appealed to me, as the story itself hasn’t been presented in Egyptian or Arab cinema before.

“Featuring a pre-cinema release on Shahid VIP definitely marks the beginning of a new form of film distribution in the region,” she continued. “I do not view it as a substitute to the cinema, but as a service that compliments it. It’s fantastic that this film is the first one to stream on Shahid VIP.

“I have had a successful journey with MBC over the years, and I look forward to continuing it, now with this new initiative by Shahid VIP.”

Meanwhile, director El-Adl commented: “Debuting on Shahid VIP marks an exciting future in filmmaking, considering how popular digital streaming services have become amongst Arab audiences.

“It’s a new way of making exclusive content accessible to everyone, and I think that the public will back it. It’s also a new way for filmmakers to showcase their work, which is crucial given the current circumstances around the world.”

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