Serial killer series The Alexandra Killings, to be made by writer/director Terry George and Egyptian writer Mariam Naoum, will act as the first part of a MENA-based true crime anthology to be shot at various locations in the region and set during various time periods.
The show is set to be made by Middle East-based Yalla Yalla, founded by Front Row Filmed Entertainment and Rocket Science.
The series is based on the true story of Egyptian sisters Raya and Sakina Hammam who rise from poverty in a poor Alexandria neighbourhood to run a brothel that draws a clientele of Egyptian and British officers as well as statesmen and informants.
Set during the 1920s when Egypt was still under British rule, this story of the murkier side of Alexandria’s history sees the sisters eventually become involved in the murder of 17 women and be put on trial and became the first women to be sentenced to death. It is planned that the series will be mainly shot in Arabic, though naturally also be partly in English to mirror the English rule.
Terry George, who directed Hotel Rwanda, has been quoted as saying:” I look forward to collaborating with a truly international team of talented producers and storytellers to investigate the remarkable true story of the Hammam sisters.
“I am particularly delighted to be working with renowned Egyptian writer Mariam Naoum to tackle subject matter that while containing all the captivating elements of a legendary crime also encompasses global themes of sexism, jealousy, greed and lost love. This will be a thrilling and entertaining journey.”
Co-writer Mariam Naoum, who scripted Between Two Seas, was reported as saying:” I’m very enthusiastic about being a part of this project, and I feel lucky to be working with Terry George and Front Row. At this point of my career, I really believe that merging the experiences of the middle eastern and western filmmakers is crucial for the industry of filmmaking and it will help perfect the adaptation of the story. And I’m sure that I’ll also be learning a lot during this journey.”
Front Row and Yalla Yalla CEO Gianluca Chakra added:” We are really proud and excited to be working with amazing talent like Terry and Mariam. We see Terry and Mariam forming a strong synergy with their experiences tackling these complex and interesting subject matters; Terry’s impactful, Award-winning work in landmark Award-winning productions and Mariam’s powerful resume in Arabic film and TV are a perfect match for The Alexandria Killings.
"The societal exploration underpinning the murders is unique in that the world has not seen anything of this scale from the Arab world. We’re really looking forward to it.”
The Alexandria Killings will be executive produced by Hisham AlGhanim, Michela Scolari and UAE filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja. On Linkedin Nayla Al Khaja wrote:” So proud to be one of the Executive Producers in series The Alexandra Killings. This story has been brewing in my mind for years. From the time I pitched it to seeing it officially announced in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety is just beyond incredible. Oscar winner Terry George and the entire team will be creating a riveting series.”