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Samar Akrouk to Replace Christina Wayne as Managing Director of Saudi-Owned MBC Studios

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variety.com

Nick Vivarelli International Correspondent Samar Akrouk has been appointed managing director of Saudi production powerhouse MBC Studios, replacing U.S.

producer Christina Wayne, who recently quietly exited the top post at the production arm of top Middle East broadcaster MBC Group.

Akrouk, who has been with MBC for almost 30 years, is currently the group’s director of production. She will retain that role while expanding her purview from mainly non-scripted productions for the MBC TV channels and its Shahid streamer to also comprise oversight of MBC’s high-end drama and film productions in Saudi Arabia, which arepart of an ongoing effort to help kickstart the kingdom’s nascent industry. “She will be managing the entity’s mission to leverage the ongoing trend for non-English-language television content to reach more global markets,” a statement from MBC reads.

High-end Saudi productions in various stages bankrolled by MBC include Hollywood-style tentpole “Desert Warrior” — featuring an all-star international cast led by “Captain America” star Anthony Mackie and directed by Rupert Wyatt (“Planet of the Apes”) — and fantasy-adventure “Rise of the Witches,” the biggest TV series ever produced with a homegrown Saudi cast.

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