Among the titans of TV streaming, Netflix has been particularly keen on churning out original programming: In 2015 alone, Netflix has around 60 original comedy specials, documentaries, and TV shows on its docket. Add to that the company’s recently announced expansion plan to launch in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong by next year, and it’s no wonder why filmmaker/actor Ahmad Saadaldin and his team at production company Peace House made a ballsy pitch to Netflix.
Peace House is looking to Netflix to house their TV show Salahadin, a historical drama based on the titular 12th century Muslim ruler who defeated the Crusaders and reclaimed Jerusalem. After reaching their goal of raising $80,000 on Kickstarter, the crew at Peace House put together a three-point plan to get the attention of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos:
1) An ultra-sleek trailer to pull you in:
2) A video explainer detailing their efforts to “flood social media”:
3) And the absolute crown jewel: a clever video pitch “inside” Netflix starring some very familiar faces.
Part of the reason Peace House is pushing for the wide distribution power of Netflix is to reach a broader audience with roles for Muslim actors who aren’t typecast as terrorists or other one-note characters.
“I was told that I had to accept my cast type if I wanted to get into this industry,” Saadaldin says in a video. “It was at that moment that I realized that we need to get into storytelling. That way, we could ensure that there would be roles for brown Muslims like me to act as something other than a violent criminal or a terrorist.”
Peace House has been asking fans of the Salahadin project to share their efforts on social media with #NetflixLISTEN–and wouldn’t you know it, Netflix listened. Not only did Hastings share Peace House’s video pitch on his Facebook wall, but Netflix tweeted yesterday that Salahadin was on the agenda for a board meeting.
If getting Netflix’s attention wasn’t enough, its stars have also chimed in with support of Salahadin:
There’s no word yet on whether or not the momentum behind Salahadin will be enough to take it from Netflix’s board meeting and onto a screen near you, but you have to give props to Peace House’s creativity and guts in making their voices heard.