Last night, the new Arabic-language web drama Shankaboot, directed by Amin Dora and produced by Katia Saleh, premiered at Art Lounge.
The series belongs to a new genre and is one of the first of its kind in the Arab world (Flying Kebab is another but it’s not in Arabic), intends to portray a lesser-known, and sometimes grittier side of Beirut and its environs by tracing the path of a moped-mounted delivery boy, the 15-year-old Suleiman.
Watch the first four-and-a-half-minute episode:
The first season of Shankaboot—a collaboration between Batoota Films, Zico House, the Welded Tandem Picture Company, and the BBC World Service Trust—will comprise 30 episodes in six blocks, as well as companion games, discussion forums, and comedy shorts.
So far it’s got the feel of Falafel with tighter editing. We definitely see the appeal of web drama—televised drama is painful to watch—but we’re especially curious to see how the series plays to those with Lebanon’s infamous low bandwidth. Maybe the producers should think about distributing the series on flash drives in the same way they did the press kits.