By Vijaya Cherian
Sometimes, it's important to put a dream project on standby and take on a less idealistic project so that you can make some money first. This year, I’d recommend that a group of UAE filmmakers put together a nice tight script for a Musalsal, market the idea to a local broadcaster and get ready to produce a series that will generate revenue.
|~||~||~|This month is of special importance to the Arab world because it is a month of fasting and prayer. But for the Arab production world, Ramadan is also a significant month because we see the culmination of several months of their production effort on television. Work shown during this period, to a large extent, will dictate the kind of projects they will get next year and how successful they will be at securing air time on different channels. Production houses spend millions of dollars each year to produce these Musalsals, which are essentially drama series, broadcast during the month of Ramadan.
For a long time, Egypt and Syria have been at the forefront of the Musalsal production, while they have been selling it primarily to Dubai TV, Abu Dhabi TV, LBCI, and MBC. Now, broadcasters in Dubai, Kuwait and Lebanon are looking at the huge profit potential of funding their own Musalsals rather than buying the rights to broadcast someone else’s work.
On the one hand, these broadcasters have the money to fund such projects but they don’t yet have the right talent to produce or direct such programmes. For now, it is believed that most of these broadcasters will continue to rely on talent in Egypt and Syria to make their programmes.
However, with more young filmmakers, producers and directors graduating from regional media institutes today, it is likely that at least some of them will move out of making movies and enter into the more profitable world of producing Musalsals or other drama series. If they do, with the right script and some funding, several UAE filmmakers could be on the road to making some money that could, in turn, fund some of their dream film projects.