Saudi Arabian multi-hyphenate Hisham Fageeh (“Barakah Meets Barakah”) and young producer Sultan Tamer are launching DH’BAB Productions, an innovative indie film and TV production shingle based in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that aims to become a bridge between both countries.
A stand-up comedian, actor, writer and producer, Fageeh (pictured above) has been a pioneer in the Saudi film and television industry that is now experiencing a boom following the 2017 removal of a religion-related ban on cinema. Fageeh in 2013 posted a satirical video on YouTube titled “No Woman, No Drive” that became the country’s most popular YouTube video and may have played a part in the movement to strike down Saudi’s ban on female motorists in late 2017. He also acted in and co-produced the Toronto-premiering “Barakah Meets Barakah,” the groundbreaking 2016 rom-com, shot in Saudi before the ban was lifted.
Fageeh more recently served as director of the Middle Eastern Media Initiative (MEMI) at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, the training and mentorship program launched in 2018 to boost the careers of Arabic TV writers and producers.
Tamer is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts who executive-produced Cesar Martinez Barba’s prizewinning deportation doc “Dial Home” which has been showcased on the New Yorker’s Screening Room. He has also produced and directed viral music videos for Saudi pop artist Mishaal, including the video for his song “Arabian Knights” that currently has 3.6 million views on YouTube.
The new company’s first project is the horror film “Desolation,” written and developed by Fageeh. This classic horror pic “exemplifies the ethos of DH’BAB, blending elements of the found footage sub-genre with a more cerebral approach,” according to a statement. There is also an unspecified TV series in the pipeline that is being shepherded by Tamer and has been awarded a development grant by Netflix.
DH’BAB’s mission is “to tell these stories through an Arab lens, both in the U.S. and in global markets” and also to “showcase the diversity that is the beating heart of the [Middle East] region and the unique and original stories that come from it,” the statement said.
DH’BAB is being repped by CAA and Los Angeles-based entertainment lawyer Andrew Cutrow.