Netflix releases two films by Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja

Arabic language works 'The Shadow' and 'Animal' are available to watch globally on the streaming platform

Netflix has added two films by Emirati film director and producer Nayla Al Khaja to its global streaming platform. Photo Sarah Dea / The National
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Two films by path-breaking Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja have been added to Netflix’s global streaming service.

The Emirati director’s first full-length feature film The Shadow, and her 2016 short Animal are now available to watch on the streaming platform worldwide.

Thank you Netflix for placing both of my films on your platform. It has also made a big impact that it was picked for the world and not just for our Mena region,” wrote the acclaimed film producer on LinkedIn.

“This has opened so many incredible opportunities for storytellers like myself. There is no limit to my appetite now.”

On Instagram, she commented on the support she'd received from fans of the films.

“I have received messages from different continents and connected with other storytellers because of this. This is a wonderful positive step towards what's ahead, especially for female voices in the Mena region. The feedback and reviews have been overwhelming.”

Horror fans can tune in to The Shadow, an Arabic-language supernatural thriller that was, according to the director, inspired by a real-life family experience.

The film is also being developed into an international feature called Three, which is due to be released in 2023.

Animal is a 14-minute short that tells the story of a girl aged 7, who is struggling to endure life marked by three controlling guardians.

Nayla Al Khaja and A R Rahman at the 75th Cannes International Film Festival. Photo: Ammar Abd Rabbo

The UAE filmmaker is currently working on her forthcoming feature, a mystery thriller titled Baab, set in Ras Al Khaimah.

She is teaming up with Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman, who earned global fame for his work on the soundtrack of Slumdog Millionaire. He will score the music for the film, which is set to begin shooting in March 2023.

Baab, co-written by Al Khaja and writer Masoud Amralla Al Ali, follows Wahida, who is haunted by the mysterious death of her twin sister. The discovery of hidden cassette tapes then leads her on a relentless pursuit to find answers and deal with her own grief.

The northern Emirate will provide the film's dramatic backdrop and indigenous people from Ras Al Khaimah will also feature, Al Khaja said.

Updated: November 05, 2022, 10:45 AM