Netflix has acquired worldwide distributions rights for Emirati legal TV drama series Justice, which is produced by Abu Dhabi film studio Image Nation and Beelink Productions.
The 18-episode production is the first Emirati series run on the global streaming platform and the third Image Nation production, following ZInzana and The Worthy to be picked up Netflix.
The series was first aired on pay-TV platform OSN in September 2017 after the firm struck a deal with distributor IM Global Television for the show’s Middle East premiere rights. The Netflix deal was negotiated by Eli Shibley, President of International distribution and co-production at IM Global Television.
Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer at Image Nation, said: “Image Nation is delighted to have Netflix onboard to bring QALB AL ADALA to global audiences. This is a landmark series not just for Image Nation, but for Abu Dhabi and the whole UAE.
“Part of our mission is to continue to change perceptions about our region and we’re excited to showcase the region’s culture positively and authentically to audiences around the world.”
A legal family drama, it is thought to be the most expensive Emirati TV production ever staged, according to Image Nation CEO Michael Garin, and is based on real-life cases from the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, which partnered on the production for authenticity.
The participation of the judicial department in the production was aimed at spreading awareness and educating UAE audiences about the legal system, Dr Salah Khamis Al Junaibi, director of corporate communication and international cooperation at Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, said in 2017.
“We are hoping to teach our rules and regulations through a simple method that will reach all walks of life in the UAE and contribute to the effective consolidation of social security in Abu Dhabi,” he said.
The drama, which is shot in Abu Dhabi, focuses on ambitious lawyer Farah who returns home after having obtained a law degree in the US to find that her father, one of the UAE’s top lawyers, has big plans for her career at his prestigious firm. Farah, however, has other plans to succeed on her own, and does so while pushing legal and cultural boundaries in the process.
Created by Oscar nominee Walter Parkes and Emmy Award-winning producer William Finkelstein, the series is directed by Ahmed Khaled and stars Fatima Al Taei, Mansoor Al Feeli, Mohamed Alamiri, and Malak Al Khalidi.
In 2016, Garin described Justice as “LA Law meets Dallas in Abu Dhabi”, and said it is a “unique opportunity to see how everyday Arabs live their lives [and] how the court system works”.
Image Nation added another feather to their cap with the news that its production Free Solo has been nominated for an Oscar award in the Best Documentary Feature.
It was produced by the Abu Dhabi house alongside Parkes and MacDonald and has broken records at the US box office. It tells the story of professional rock climber Alex Honnold as he attempts to complete the first free solo climb of the famed 900-metre vertical rock face El Capitan at Yosemite National Park in California.