MoviePigs launches US platform for Arab cinema

New York-based start-up MoviePigs is launching an SVOD platform focused on Arab cinema for audiences in North America.

Soft launched at San Francisco’s Arab Film Festival in October, the new platform streams independent features and documentaries such as Omar, Paradise Now, Wadjda and 678, along with Egyptian and Syrian movie classics.

The venture is backed by US tech investor Dave McClure, Lebanon-born Hala Fadel, chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the pan-Arab region, and Tarek Nasr, managing director of Cairo tech start-up accelerator JuiceLabs.

“We focus more on movies that have global rather than just local appeal, including festival titles, as they appeal not only to Arabs living abroad but also non-Arabs interested in the Arab narrative,” said Peri Abou-Zeid who co-founded the company with CTO Hany El Kerdany.

“In the US, we’ve found that non-Arabs make up to 50% of the audience for Arab film festivals.”

On its official launch on January 1, 2016, Movie Pigs will also be made available in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia.

In the US, the platform has three monthly subscription packages: $6.99 for standard definition and single device usage; $7.99 for HD and two devices and $10.99 for HD, unlimited devices and early access to some titles.