Netflix buys rights to six short films from Saudi Arabia's Telfaz11 Studios

The films will be available to viewers in 190 countries from February 27

'Is Sumyati going to Hell?' (2016) tells the story of a housemaid dealing with her racist employers. Courtesy YouTube. 
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Streaming giant Netflix has bought the rights for six award-winning short films from Saudi Arabia start-up Telfaz11 Studios.

To be released under the moniker Six Windows in the Desert, the films aim to focus on social issues in the kingdom and further afield. The films cover topics from social taboos and extremism, to the human psyche.

They will be available to Netflix viewers in 190 countries from Thursday, February 27.

"Not only will Six Windows in the Desert offer global audiences a lens into the perspective of the Saudi creators, but also through the eyes of film characters with their own take on storytelling," a Netflix statement said.

Alaa Fadan, chief executive officer at Telfaz11 Studios, said it brought him "immense pride" to have the films selected by Netflix.

"We are excited to bring the work of local Saudi talents to 167 million subscribers around the world. Telfaz11 Studios produces authentic and intriguing stories from our culture, and we cannot wait for the world to see what we have to offer.”

What are the 'Six Windows in the Desert' short films?

'27th of Shaban' (2019): In the early 2000s, Mohammed and Nouf meet up for a date; an act prohibited in Saudi Arabia. This film by director Mohamed Al Salman shows how the date unfolds.

'Wasati' (2016): Based on the true story of extremists attacking a theatre during a performance in Riyadh a decade ago, Wasati bela Wastiah (A Moderate without Moderation), retells the events from a different point of view. Directed by Ali Kalthami, Wasati won Best Director and Best Foreign Film at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival in 2017.

'Is Sumyati going to Hell?' (2016): This film is told from the perspective of the young Layan, the youngest child of a family who employs a housemaid named Sumyati. Having to deal with the racism of her employers, the film documents Sumyati's efforts to survive. Directed by Meshal Al Jaser, the film won Foreign Short Film at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards in 2017.
'Predicament in Sight' (2016): A science-fiction short film set in the 1970s. Directed by Fairs Godus, survivors of a plane crash in an isolated desert area are forced to co-exist after multiple attempts to communicate with the outside world fails.
'The Rat' (2018): Fahad spends the last day of his life with the fear of his imposing and strict father looming over his head. Like a "rat on a wheel", Fahad scurries through cycles of fear characterised by different aspects of his father and tries to break free. This film was written and directed by Faisal Al Amer.
'Curtain' (2018): A female nurse trying to escape a life filled with traumatic events faces fear and judgement at her workplace. This film was directed by Mohamed Alsalman.