Dubai-based film producer ties up with Starzplay Arabia - GulfToday

Dubai-based film producer ties up with Starzplay Arabia

Zenofar Fathima 1

Zenofar Fathima.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

The recent collaboration with Dubai-based film producer with the Middle East’s fastest growing video-streaming service, Starzplay Arabia, has opened new horizon for local content creator to showcase their creation to global viewership.

I hope this move will definitely inspire and motivate filmmakers here to create content that can capture international masses. Content is king, so I would advise content creators and filmmakers to pick a niche or topics that can resonate with people so that this can be recognized internationally, said activist filmmaker, producer, and CEO of Zen Film Productions Zenofar Fathima in a recent interview with the Gulf Today.

The Dubai based boutique film production company with a premier focus on content that transcends international barriers, is now prepared to debut their original content on popular MENA OTT (over-the-top) platform Starzplay Arabia.

Starzplay, along with Netflix, is said to control two thirds of the Middle East and North Africa’s OTT services, a report by tech research film Omdia said. Among the exclusive content which is slated for a Ramadan release on the platform is Ayah, in association with Firdaus Studio by A.R. Rahman, and comedy series Jab South Meets North. “I’m excited to finally put my brainchild, Zen Film Productions, on the world map with two excellent projects on a renowned platform like Starzplay,” said Fathima.


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Responding a question, she said that “the collaboration with Starzplay is extremely fruitful for myself and my brainchild Zen Film Productions as it is the first OTT platform – which also happens to hold equal market share with rival Netflix – where we are playing our original content on. This collaboration marks Zen Film Productions’ foray into the international market, given Starzplay’s global reach in the MENA region, Europe, and more.”

She further said that if production and content is exemplary, it is no doubt that you will be able to reach the stars.

It isalso mentioned that ‘Ayah’ a meta-spiritual short film, which delves into the power of prayer in times of hardship using the three art forms of film, music and theater. The award-winning short is said to have won over international masses during its festival run, winning more than twenty accolades. Directed and conceived by activist filmmaker, producer, and CEO of Zen Film Productions Zenofar Fathima, as well as written and directed by Afraah Farhana, and composed by music composer and singer Hiral Viradia, Ayah has managed to bag accolades in categories such as Best Short Film, Best Musical Film, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay, above others during its international festival run.

The second project to be featured on Starzplay Arabia is trilingual comedy series ‘Jab South Meets North’, which Fathima announced to the UAE media at the 7th edition of the Emirates Short Film Festival.

The eight-episode series will explore the tug of war that exists between North and South Indians, and will feature Fathima in a lead role. “I’m especially excited to be starring in this series given that I am a Tamilian by heart, so expect my character to bring in relatable Tamil inside jokes,” said Fathima. Other cast members include Parvez Kazi, well-known TikTok star and body-double of Bollywood powerhouse Salman Khan, fashion & lifestyle influencer Muhammad Junaid, as well as other Dubai based up and coming talent.

“As a filmmaker and actor myself, I believe that the MENA region is home to many talented actors, many of whom haven’t discovered their talents yet,” said Fathima. “I hope to use my projects as an incubator for new talents who not only encompass talent, but also those who have potential and want to realize it with the help of a professional.” Jab South Meets North is being helmed by Fathima and an array of international producers.

In the wake of Zen Film Productions’ success, Fathima is now in the conceptualisation phase for another Ramadan project, with the working title being Ayat: The Verses. “While this film is not directly related to Ayah, it is in the same vein in terms of spirituality,” said Fathima. The film will be released in time for Ramadan 2023, and will delve into one’s unique, individual relationship with God.

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