Film partnerships News

Front Row and Rocket Science join hands to launch Yalla Yalla

From left: Thorsten Schumacher, CEO of Rocket Science and Gianluca Chakra, Managing Director of Front Row.

Middle East film distributor and producer Front Row Filmed Entertainment and international financing, production and sales firm Rocket Science have entered into a joint venture to launch Yalla Yalla, a film and television company targeted at Arabic language entertainment.

Based in Dubai, Yalla Yalla will develop, package, produce and finance television and feature film projects for the Middle East and North Africa territories, with a view to travel beyond the region. The team has already been active in acquiring remake rights as well as developing original content for both theatrical and TV with the aim of having four feature films and two TV series produced within the first eighteen months.

Rocket Science will leverage its talent, producing and financing relationships in the US and Europe, while Front Row and its partner, Kuwait National Cinema Company, will harness their regional relationships with filmmakers, tastemakers and financiers.

The company will collaborate with former Wild Bunch Head of Acquisitions, Rita Dagher as its Creative Producer.

A joint statement from Gianluca Chakra, Managing Director of Front Row and Thorsten Schumacher, CEO of Rocket Science said: “Establishing this JV felt natural to us and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Both companies’ complementary expertise, relationships and positioning create the perfect foundation for establishing this JV as the leading content player in the Middle East during the rapid evolution of the MENA market. Rita’s experience and knowledge in the region and internationally will not only be key in identifying projects and local talent but will also bring a huge added value in bringing these projects to life and help nurture the talent.”

Chakra added: “One of our main goals is to create pan-Arab content by bringing together talent from different countries.”

Dagher, whose credits include A Prayer Before Dawn, Miss Julie, Four Lions and Fahrenheit 9/11, added: “The Middle East, including North Africa, thrives with powerful stories waiting to be told. Yalla Yalla will provide a home for a new wave of exciting and diverse filmmakers with unique voices to tell their stories and embrace all kinds of genres and formats. Our intention is to encourage filmmakers to go into new directions and be part of, not just the Arab world, but also an international one.”