Former Viaplay and Shahid chief content officer launches new production company

The former Viaplay Group and Shahid chief content officer, Jakob Mejlhede Andersen, has launched a new production company, The Yard Films. The production company will be based in the MENA region and with original TV Series and co-production experience and will be based out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The executive team also includes Camilla Hammer, an industry expert with global acquisitions, sales and packaging experience and Phil Rostom, an industry veteran across the MENA region. Together, they possess extensive expertise across creation, production, and financing of content across MENA, Europe, and the US.

The Yard Films aims to develop and produce original scripted and non-scripted content for both local and international players. The company has identified a strong need for storytelling that target’s millennials and gen-z, particularly within existing and upcoming OTT services.

During his career at Viaplay Group and Shahid, Jakob Mejlhede Andersen was responsibility for developing and executing the content strategy that led both Viaplay (Nordics) and Shahid (MENA) to market leading positions in steep competition with both global and local competitors. An integral part of the strategies has been local original scripted content. Jakob Mejlhede Andersen has been involved in more than 200 Nordic and Arabic scripted and non-scripted projects.

“It’s our ambition to produce and deliver groundbreaking content for the buoyant Arabic streaming market. We aim to work in partnerships with the excellent local creative scene across the entire MENA region.” Camilla Hammer possesses a rich experience in sales, co-production and financing. “We strongly believe in partnerships within the region and internationally. There is a wealth of stories across the Middle East that has strong interest not only from local but also international platforms.”

Phil Rostom is a production executive who has been based in MENA for the last 17 years, working with both local and international players. “We aim to bring the creative quality on screen to even higher levels than what exists now, working with the strong local creative scene but also bringing in international competence where needed.”