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Ex-BBC producer’s ‘Netflix of Islam’ launches crowdfunding campaign

East London based VoD service is pledging for funds to offer 500 new titles of video content

Alchemiya Media Ltd has launched a £100k Ramadan crowdfunding campaign on US based crowdfunding platform, LaunchGood.

The East London based VoD service, founded by ex-BBC producer Navid Akhtar and described as the ‘Netflix of Islam’, has launched the campaign in a bid to offer 500 new titles of video content.

It intends to focus on video content about art, culture, history, and heritage, travel, food, fashion and children’s programmes, which it believes can help create positive change in the Muslim community.

“I am confident that we can bring a new perspective and experience of Islam with content that inspires and educates the viewer,” said Akhtar. “In the case of our core audience, they are under-served and caught between conservative religious television and the western mainstream that doesn’t reflect their values or aspirations.

“There is a Muslim London ‘cool’ that Muslims from across the globe want to experience, and we have around us the creative talent that produces this,” he added. “Our aim is not to teach or preach, but rather to inspire our viewers with lifestyle content that presents the rich culture of the Muslim world. This project is not about religion or theology, but an opportunity to transform the distorted image of Islam into a more balanced perspective. There are both push and pull factors that are opening up a huge opportunity for us.”

Alchemiya’s Ramadan campaign on LaunchGood allows anyone donating $50 to get free 2-year access for themselves and a free 2-year subscription for any educational institution of their choice. The funds from the campaign will allow it to grow the current library from 50 titles to 500.

Meanwhile, the team has drawn up plans to establish the Alchemiya Foundation, diverting funds from their commercial profits to help train and support the next generation of underprivileged filmmakers.

Ericsson ConsumerLab predicts that by 2020, half of all video viewing will be done on mobile devices, led by a younger generation of viewers. With 60 per cent of the global Muslim population under the age of 30, a new generation of Muslim Millennials are expected to be among the most influential market demographic, shaping both regional and mainstream markets.