Waleed Zuaiter, who has starred in Netflix’s The Spy and Hulu and Channel 4 drama Baghdad Central, has launched his own production company to tackle diversity in TV and film.
Zuaiter, who produced Omar, the Palestinian feature that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, has established FlipNarrative, which will be based in LA, London and Beirut. He wants to amplify underrepresented and historically misrepresented voices around the world and to be a bridge between the U.S. and the Middle East and North Africa.
He has unveiled a slew of projects already in various stages of development. These include The Valley, a fictionalized take on the illicit drug trade in Lebanon, a romantic comedy feature set in Palestine/Israel, an epic female centric family drama feature set in Morocco, and Perception, a documentary currently in post-production about world-renowned artist, El Seed, who ventures into the hidden corners outside Cairo and begins painting an ambitious grand mural.
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He will be helped by The Artist Partnership, and Echo Lake Entertainment, which will both represent and consult with FlipNarrative. The company has also launched with a development fund, a vehicle for optioning and holding IP.
Zuaiter said, “This new chapter with FlipNarrative is something we have wanted to embark on for a while now. Audiences have shifted to TV in droves, increasing pressure on studios to offer content that reflects the ‘real world’, but despite this, Hollywood and the industry still appears to be averse in making inclusive films and TV shows that are truly reflective of international audiences.”
“We want an inclusive and diverse industry to become a reality, not a priority, where we can undo the fiction that has informed so much of popular culture. Where diverse individual talents are valued, can be themselves, be different and applauded with open arms. For voices yearning to speak out, we are the bridge of opportunity and a platform they deserve. Let’s flip the narrative,” he added.
Roger Charteris, co-owner and CEO The Artists Partnership and sister company, The Development Partnership, added, “Discerning talent is always looking for unique and ground-breaking material – put the two together and the result is exceptional work.”
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