Young Saudi women take centre-stage in brand-new television drama

22 January, 2019 MBC Studios is proud to unveil ‘Boxing Girls’, a brand-new Arabic-language drama produced by O3 Productions and twofour54 Abu Dhabi.
Directed by Saudi filmmaker Samir Aref, ‘Boxing Girls’ is the screenwriting debut of Afnan Alqasimi, and stars a slew of well-known names in Arab entertainment, including Fatima Al Hosani, Ali Al Sherif and Shaifan Al Otaibi. The programme places young people at the centre of the gripping story, as well as behind the scenes.

Teams with both O3 Productions – which falls under MBC Studios – and twofour54 spent two months shooting in Abu Dhabi across locations in the UAE capital, before moving to Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to complete the second phase of production. As well as the series benefitting from twofour54’s award-winning production and post-production services and facilities, it also was able to take advantage of Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s attractive 30% rebate on production spend.

Her Excellency Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54, commented: “This drama production is particularly unique, because it puts a real emphasis on the region’s young talent – both in front of and behind the camera. Sixty-five percent of the Arab world’s population is estimated to be under the age of 30, and therefore it is crucial to nurture and develop local talent to ensure that stories appeal to both a local and global audience.”

She continued: “We are delighted to partner with O3 Productions for the fourth time, where together, we have already built two sets at our backlot in KIZAD, and produced four quality Arabic dramas in Abu Dhabi. Partnerships such as this are an important part of our mission to encourage and support the creation of quality Arabic content.”

On his part, Peter Smith, Managing Director – MBC Studios stated: “We are creating a unique Saudi production for the youth, by the youth. The characters portray young women struggling to cope with life and the series examines whether they will overcome these obstacles or give in to the pressure.

“At O3 Productions and MBC Studios, we are striving to create a variety of dramas, from historical series such as ‘Al Asouf’ and ‘Haret El Sheikh’, to social dramas like ‘Love without Borders’. This promising new series is reliant on its young female actors and paves the way for these social media stars to shine on the small screen as well.”

Smith also praised twofour54 for its continued support that allows O3 Productions to film in the UAE capital.

‘Boxing Girls’ also stars Mila Zahrani, Abdul Aziz Skeirin, Alaa Shaker, Dana Al Salem, Anoud Al Saoud, Abeer Sander, Noura Ezzer, Mohammed Meshaal, Rakan, Zuhair Haider and Zara Al Balushi. It is set to debut in February 2019, on MBC channels.