Leading Dubai-based indie distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has teamed with the Kuwait National Cinema Company and Ehab Sergany and Ahmed Helmy’s Shadows Communications to produce Egyptian sitcom Tough Luck with an all-star Arab cast.
It’s the first TV venture for Front Row and Sharif Ramzi and Mai Selim will take leading roles. Tough Luck is currently shooting in Cairo and will consist of two seasons of 30×30 episodes to be shot back to back. The companies are eyeing a first season launch in May, which will coincide with the month of Ramadan, where viewership reaches its yearly peak in the region.
Tough Luck 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 will have more than 40 guest appearances from top Arab talent including Egyptian star Helmy as well as Ahmad Sakka, Mona Zaki, Mai Kassab, Ahmad Fahmi, Shiko, Nicold Saba, Hisham Majed, Baoiomy Fouad and Hassan Al Radad. Singing sensations Mohammed Fouad, Bousi, Hisham Abbas, Mustapha Qamar and belly-dancing legend Fify Abdo will also have roles.
“We are currently negotiating with multiple parties and looking to break the archaic mould of traditional sales and distribution through a game-changing scenario that could eventually bring in a more competitive landscape in the region,” said Front Row’s Managing Partner Gianluca Chakra.
KNCC General Manager Hisham Alghanim said: “It’s the first time an Egyptian series comprises of over 40 of the biggest names in the Arab world, positioning this as essential viewing especially at a time where family viewing is at its pinnacle.”
Sergany added: “Hisham and Gianluca are indeed the most valuable assets in the MENA film industry. We trust their vision, expertise and strategically innovative methods and believe in their long-term strategy implementing much-needed new standards in the region. We believe this partnership will bring in loads of surprises.”
In 2015, Front Row and KNCC inked a five-year first-run output deal for the Middle East and North Africa with Qatar’s beIN Media. The company recently sold Lebanese smash hit Very Big Shot to Netflix for worldwide rights.