Today Netflix announces the new Belgian series Soil. The original screenplay is based on the idea by Zouzou Ben Chikha, Dries Heyneman and Wannes Capelle. Belgian directors and screenwriters, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Bad Boys For Life), will direct the series alongside Mathieu Mortelmans (Unité 42, Gent West, Vermist). Netflix is partnering with production company Lunanime (part of the Lumiere Group) and SBS Belgium to premiere Soil to Netflix members globally, except for Belgium, Germany and German-speaking Austria, and Switzerland where Netflix will be following local broadcasters.
When a Muslim dies in Belgium their family is left with the dilemma: “Do we bury them here or do we honor their last wishes and take them back to where they were born?” The young Ishmael ‘Smile’ Boulasmoum, who together with his sister inherits his father’s repatriation business, finds a solution: what if we bring soil from Morocco to bury our dead in it? We’re starting a business in soil! Without realizing it, they open Pandora’s ‘coffin’.
Soil is an 8 episodes drama fiction series and is produced by Jan De Clercq of Lunanime, part of the Lumière Group. The series stars Yassine Ouaich (GR5), Charlotte De Bruyne (De Twaalf), Barbara Sarafian (Gevoel Voor Tumor), Tom Vermeir (De Twaalf), Reinhilde Decleir (Beau Séjour), Saïd Boumazoughe (Patser), Mourade Zeguendi (Gina & Chantal), Ahlaam Teghadouini (Hoodie), Dries Heyneman (Bevergem), Ward Kerremans (Penoza), Emilie De Roo (16+) en Wannes Cappelle (Bevergem).
Directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah: ‘’Soil tells a story that is very recognizable to us as Muslims and Moroccans but at the same time has a universal character because of the subject of family and bereavement. We are beyond excited to be directing here in Belgium again after our adventure in Hollywood. We have an amazing cast, a superb script and we can’t wait to finally start with Soil. We look forward to being back on set in the city where it all started: Brussels’’.
Lina Brouneus, Director of Co-Production & Acquisition at Netflix: ‘’We are thrilled to partner with Lumière and SBS Belgium to bring the new Belgian series Soil to Netflix. Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah and the team at Lumière are incredibly talented and we are excited to help bring their creative vision to our members across the globe.’’
Jan De Clercq and Marike Muselaers from Lumière: “Lumière and Netflix have been partners from the moment Netflix first launched in the Benelux. After successfully working together on the distribution side we are very happy to strengthen this partnership with our very first co-production. Although rooted in Belgium, SOIL is a universal story about family and belonging, and with Netflix as our partner we are excited to bring SOIL to a truly global audience.”
Soil (Grond) is a Lumière production, commissioned by VIER (SBS) in collaboration with Netflix, Telenet, and support of the Creative Europe – Media Programme of the European Union, Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Mediafund, Screen Brussels and Belgian Tax Shelter (Lum.Invest & BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance).
The show will première in Belgium on VIER and will be available on Netflix worldwide 6 months after the air date of the last episode, and also on Telenet in Belgium.