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Set in Doha, Qatar in 1997, ‘Arabnovela’ is a satirical story about how society and family can crush dreams. A young woman named Noor dreams of becoming a khaleeji telenovela actress. She lives a double life as she juggles being an actress under the alias of Reem Ahmed and her actual job as a resident doctor from her family.
A satirical look into how Arab society inhibits dreams and destroys untraditional romances. The story follows the journey of Noor, a resident doctor in a hospital but also an aspiring telenovela actress. She is acting in a low budget week-long theatre production of ‘Snow White’ but has to conceal the pursuit of her dream from her mother, Al Anood. Noor hides under the alias of ‘Reem Ahmed’, using make-up to lighten her skin and alter her features so that nobody can recognize her. When her Uncle Nasser, the father and patriarchal figure in her life spots her on the opening night of the show, she quits acting entirely until another opportunity arises. A ‘Romeo & Juliet’ Ramadan telenovela show that is advertised as the biggest show the Arab world has ever produced and it’s calling out for auditions on a local TV chat program. Noor meets the Qatari director Khalifa and auditions for him, but he brings in his best friend from film school in LA called Tarek. The show’s investor and son of a big-time producer. She gets the role of Juliet (Al Jazi) that was originally the role for Tarek’s ex-girlfriend Madawi. As Noor lives her dream of being a telenovela actress, she is also being courted by Tarek. The consequences of her dream lead to many unpleasant revelations.