Studios suspended production on the television series that were slated for release during the holy month.
Rabat – Many film sets are now deserted because of the novel coronavirus crisis. Television series that were set to play during the month of Ramadan have postponed production, leaving episodes unfinished in the wake of the pandemic.
The move to cancel production aligns with measures to limit in-person gatherings adopted virtually worldwide.
Ramadan is known among Muslim communities as an annual period for families to gather. During Ramadan, television channels air series and movies to entertain spectators, particularly in the Arab world.
“The countdown has started and we need as much content as possible for Ramadan,” the head of acquisitions for a television station based in Dubai told AFP under conditions of anonymity.
Arabic language television channels record high viewership numbers during the month of Ramadan in the period after sunset, when family members gather for the “iftar” (breakfast) meal. Under normal circumstances, Ramadan presents an opportunity for film and television studios to boost production.
Given the health emergency lockdowns in many countries, even more people than usual are expected to watch television after iftar. With the COVID-19 crisis jeopardizing television content, producers are thinking of other ways to satisfy their viewers’ needs.
“If we cannot have our series, we will have to think of buying abroad, even at the expense of quality,” the anonymous source explained.
“Four Ramadan series filmed in Lebanon and Syria have not been completed. Everything is suspended now,” the acquisitions manager added.
In Morocco, the fifth season of adventures following the famous folk character “Kabbour,” who Moroccan comedian Hassan El Fad has performed for four years during the month of Ramadan, was also postponed.
In Morocco, the fifth season of adventures following the famous folk character “Kabbour,” performed by Moroccan comedian Hassan El Fad, was also postponed.
“Kabbour was set to make a comeback during Ramadan 2020 on 2M [television channel], but because of the COVID-19, filming was postponed to a later date,” wrote El Fad on his Instagram account.
The Moroccan cinematography center CCM decided on March 2, with the declaration of the first COVID-19 case in Morocco, to suspend all of its production activities until further notice.