Hunt on for Arab talent ahead of DIFF
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.