Two of the Arab world’s best-known acting stars, Nelly Karim (Bi 100 Wesh, The Blue Elephant) and Dhafer L’Abidine (Arous Beirut, Taht Al Saytara) have reunited, this time for the release of the region’s first vampire horror, Bloodline. The feature film, written and directed by seasoned producer, Rami Yasin, will stream exclusively on Shahid VIP, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) leading streaming platform on 30 October 2020.
Karim and L’Abidine – who previously received critical acclaim for their performance in the Arab series, Taht Al Saytara – return to star as Nader and Lamia, the parents of twin boys. After one of their sons is left in a coma following an accident, the duo conceive an unorthodox plan to bring him back to life. While the plan seemingly works, the young boy soon begins to exhibit some disturbing behaviour and sinister intentions.
Bloodline is the first project to be completed under a landmark partnership between, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, MBC STUDIOS and Majid Al Futtaim, which was first announced at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The partnership was launched with the aim to boost the Arab world’s growing film, TV and entertainment industry by producing a wider scope of exclusive regional content.
Commenting on his role, Tunisian actor L’Abidine said: “Of course I was excited to take part in this production, because the role is completely different for me – and as the first Arabic-language vampire thriller – also different for audiences in the region. It made for a very unique experience and I am very happy with it.
“What’s great about this release is that streaming platforms [such as Shahid VIP] are important, because they deliver films directly to people’s homes. Cinema releases can somewhat limit viewership – due to access – but with a streaming platform, a film can reach the whole Arab world at once.”
L’Abidine also spoke of his positive experiences with his co-star, Karim, saying: “Audiences know us from our previous collaboration, Taht Al Saytara, and during our time on the project, it was incredibly easy to work with Nelly. We understand each other and the way we work, and God willing, audiences will see this again on screen.”
Meanwhile, Egyptian actress Karim stated: “This film was an incredible project to be a part of. It was fantastic to be reunited with Dhafer in our first feature film together, and I’m sure fans will be intrigued by our unconventional onscreen roles. This is an exceptional film for the region and I can’t wait for audiences to stream it this month.”
Writer and director Yasin – whose short film In Overtime screened at the 2014 Venice Film Festival to critical acclaim – said of the movie’s release: “As an avid vampire fan, Bloodline has been a dream project of mine for many years. It is a unique story for the Arab film industry, and I relished the challenge of creating the Arab world’s first vampire-themed film, hoping to make my mark on this genre. Working with such stars as Nelly and Dhafer, as well as our incredible cast and crew, helped to bring my distinct vision to life. I sincerely hope Bloodline will resonate with audiences not just in our region but around the world.
Bloodline is produced by Film Clinic, a leading production house founded by the renowned Egyptian producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy (Yomeddine, Clash), alongside executive producers Majid Al Ansari (Zinzana) and Gabi Antal (Beowolf, Cold Mountain). The film also features twin brothers John and Pieter Ramy in their acting debut.
Rotana Studios has picked up the worldwide distribution rights for the film via Film Clinic Indie Distribution who brokered the deal, with exclusive streaming rights given to MBC GROUP’s Shahid VIP streaming platform for the film’s “first-look” release.
Film Clinic’s Hefzy said: “Rami is a unique talent and it was an incredible experience working with him on his first feature length film. I think it is also testament to his skills that, in these unprecedented times for the film and entertainment industry, a renowned platform like Shahid VIP is releasing his content for audiences to enjoy.”
Watch Bloodline on Shahid VIP, starting 30 October 2020.