Samar Akrouk Takes the Helm at MBC Studios, Pledges to Amplify Saudi Arabia's Film and TV Industry

Samar Akrouk Takes the Helm at MBC Studios, Pledges to Amplify Saudi Arabia’s Film and TV Industry

Samar Akrouk, named Managing Director of MBC Studios, aims to elevate Saudi Arabia’s film and TV industry on the global stage. 

In a significant shake-up at the heart of the Middle East’s entertainment sector, Samar Akrouk is set to spearhead MBC Studios, the influential production arm of the MBC Group. He will succeed Christina Wayne, the American producer renowned for her instrumental role in developing iconic series like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” This leadership transition marks a pivotal moment for the Saudi-owned powerhouse as it gears up to extend its global reach and innovate its content creation strategies.

Leadership Transition at MBC Studios

Managing DirectorSamar AkroukChristina Wayne

Akrouk, a stalwart at MBC for nearly three decades, boasts an impressive tenure within the group. Her journey evolved from the director of production to now overseeing the entire production landscape. In her expanded role, Akrouk will continue her stewardship of non-scripted productions for MBC’s television channels and its Shahid streaming service and will also helm the development of high-end drama and film productions within Saudi Arabia. This initiative is a cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s broader ambitions to nurture its burgeoning entertainment industry.

Bold Vision for Global Impact

Under Akrouk’s leadership, MBC Studios is poised to capitalize on the growing appetite for non-English language content across global markets. This strategic pivot is underscored by the studio’s investment in ambitious projects, such as the Hollywood-esque epic “Desert Warrior” and the groundbreaking series “Rise of the Witches,” both of which spotlight Saudi Arabia’s potential as a prime location for international film and television production.

Key Upcoming Productions

Desert WarriorFilmStarring Anthony Mackie, directed by Rupert Wyatt
Rise of the WitchesTV SeriesLargest homegrown Saudi cast

These productions reflect MBC Studios’ commitment to quality and innovation and align with the kingdom’s vision to become a global entertainment hub. Akrouk’s enthusiasm for her new role is palpable as she emphasizes the importance of this moment for the region and her determination to contribute to MBC’s legacy.

A Veteran’s Journey

Akrouk’s rich background, from her beginnings in Amman and New York to her academic pursuits at Georgetown University, has shaped her into a formidable leader in the media industry. Her relocation to Beirut in 2001 marked the beginning of MBC’s expansion in the Middle East, further solidifying her influence in shaping the network’s content strategy and production capabilities.

Samar Akrouk’s Career Highlights

1995Joined MBC, starting at ARA Group International
2001Opened MBC’s first main office in the Middle East
PresentAppointed Managing Director of MBC Studios

As MBC Studios embarks on this new chapter, Samar Akrouk’s leadership represents continuity and a bold step forward in realizing Saudi Arabia’s cinematic and televisual aspirations on the world stage. Her vision for MBC Studios is clear: to craft compelling, globally resonant narratives that underscore the region’s rich storytelling heritage and its future potential as a cornerstone of international entertainment.

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