Hunt on for Arab tal­ent ahead of DIFF

7 Days in Dubai - - NEWS -

Im­age Na­tion Abu Dhabi is to be­gin pro­duc­tion on three new fea­ture films that will be shot in the UAE and Oman later this year.

The stu­dio said the first project, On Bor­rowed Time, de­scribed as a feel-good com­edy, will be­gin shoot­ing this week­end.

Ma­jid Al An­sari, di­rec­tor of Ara­bic-lan­guage psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller Zin­zana, Net­flix’s first UAE ac­qui­si­tion, will serve as ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer on all three pro­duc­tions.

He said: “I am look­ing for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with re­gional tal­ent who I truly ad­mire. To be able to work on such large-scale pro­duc­tions on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is tes­ta­ment to the growth of the re­gional film in­dus­try and the sup­port that is in place.”

On Bor­rowed Time will be fol­lowed by Rashid & Ra­jib, a body-switch com­edy in Novem­ber, and Scales, which is de­scribed as a “dark mer­maid drama”, in early 2017.

Im­age Na­tion said it will be work­ing with lo­cal pro­duc­tion com­pa­nies to make the films, gen­er­at­ing hun­dreds of jobs.

Mo­hammed Al Mubarak, Chair­man of Im­age Na­tion, said: “By mak­ing and pro­duc­ing these films lo­cally we are par­tic­i­pat­ing in the build­ing of an en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try and con­tribut­ing to the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion, as well as pro­vid­ing in­valu­able job and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for tal­ented Emi­ratis.

“All three of these pro­duc­tions will con­tinue our course of cre­at­ing com­pelling en­ter­tain­ment at a Hol­ly­wood stan­dard, while re­flect­ing the ex­pe­ri­ences and lo­ca­tions of the Mid­dle East.” Screen In­ter­na­tional is to launch Arab Stars of To­mor­row at this year’s Dubai In­ter­na­tional Film Festival (DIFF). The ini­tia­tive is an off­shoot of the firm’s UK and Ire­land tal­ent-spot­ting scheme, which has shone the spot­light on the likes of Game of Thrones star Maisie Wil­liams (pic­tured), Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch and Tom Hid­dle­ston in the past. The film festival, now in its 13th year, will take place from De­cem­ber 7-14 at Mad­i­nat Jumeirah. Ris­ing stars from across the re­gion will be short­listed over the com­ing months ahead of the fi­nal list and re­cip­i­ents will be an­nounced at DIFF Arab Stars of To­mor­row is a joint project be­tween Screen In­ter­na­tional and DIFF.

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