Leading Dubai-based indie distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has struck a deal with the SVOD service iflix, a key streamer for the emerging markets, for Egyptian sitcom Tough Luck.

Under the deal, iflix will board as co-producers for the series with Front Row, KNCC and Shadows Communications and will additionally take exclusive SVOD rights for the show in the Middle East and North Africa, South East Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, Central America, Asia Pacific and Commonwealth of Independent States. The show will feature as an iflix original, with the platform launching in the MENA region at the end of this month where it will launch the whole first season of Tough Luck (30 episodes) to its subscribers during the month of Ramadan where family viewing is at its pinnacle.

The program is described as a comedy of errors as residents of a dilapidated tenement of Cairo’s renowned 5th district attempt to fix the crumbling building to no avail. The show has more than 40 guest appearances from top Arab talent including Egyptian star Ahmed Helmy, as well as Ahmad Sakka, Mona Zaki, Mai Kassab, Ahmad Fahmi, Shiko and Nicold Saba.

The deal with iflix marks an unprecedented move in the MENA industry, which typically sees free and pay-tv monopolize Ramadan and Arab content as a whole. The deal was negotiated by Front Row’s Managing Partner Gianluca Chakra and Head of iflix MENA Nader Sobhan.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with leading local producers, Front Row, KNCC and Shadows to create such compelling and groundbreaking content,” said Sobhan. “As one of our first original projects, we are incredibly excited to be able to showcase Tough Luck to our members across our markets globally.”

Chakra added: “A change is indeed needed in this part of the world and we are happy to be pioneering this with an SVOD service that is so committed to challenging the norms of the industry to the benefit of the user. It’s a brave step and happy to have found the right partners. This is only the beginning of what’s to come.”