$300M FILM FUND SET UP IN THE UAE

Im­age Na­tion part­ners with Chi­nese firm

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE - By Ma­hak Man­nan @Ma­hakLFC ma­hak@7days.ae

Abu Dhabi-based me­dia and pro­duc­tion com­pany Im­age Na­tion has an­nounced a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar part­ner­ship deal with China In­ter­na­tional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Cen­tre (CICC).

Im­age Na­tion, the pro­duc­tion arm of TwoFour54, has penned an agree­ment with the Chi­nese film and TV pro­duc­tion or­gan­i­sa­tion to set up an in­ter­na­tional film fund worth $300 mil­lion.

The seven-year fund, with an ini­tial cap­i­tal base of $100 mil­lion, will fa­cil­i­tate in­vest­ments in com­mer­cial film and tele­vi­sion pro­grammes from Hol­ly­wood, China and other coun­tries.

Hav­ing al­ready in­vested in movies such as Bol­ly­wood block­buster My Name is Khan, Hol­ly­wood films The Cir­cle and 99 Homes and pro­duced doc­u­men­taries for global au­di­ences such as He Named Me Malala, Im­age Na­tion CEO Michael Garin said prof­its from such ven­tures are help­ing the com­pany be­come self-sus­tained. He said: “We have had a long and successful track of in­vest­ing in in­ter­na­tional co-pro­duc­tions and the prof­its from these in­vest­ments have al­lowed Im­age Na­tion to sub­sidise our lo­cal pro­duc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties and build a sus­tain­able film and TV in­dus­try in the UAE.” The two coun­tries will also part­ner on pro­duc­ing orig­i­nal con­tent in Ara­bic about the Silk Road re­gions in a bid to reach an Ara­bic-speak­ing au­di­ence. A weekly fac­tual pro- gramme on China’s One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive, USILK, that aims to build stronger eco­nomic and cul­tural ties be­tween China and Eura­sia, will be aired on the free Quest Ara­bia TV chan­nel in 2017.

Jing Shuiqing, Vice Pres­i­dent of CICC, said the new ini­tia­tive will build on strong UAEChina re­la­tions.

He said: “China and the Arab re­gion have fos­tered great friend­ship through the an­cient Silk Road and to­day, due to the ini­tia­tives of our lead­ers, there are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties for col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween UAE and China.

“We need to bring out the story of the Silk Road and have more peo­ple com­mu­ni­cat­ing about it.

“Amid the cur­rent strong re­la­tions be­tween UAE and China, this deal is an­other stage for deeper re­la­tions and co-op­er­a­tion be­tween the two na­tions.”

In De­cem­ber 2015, the UAE and China launched a $10 bil­lion strate­gic in­vest­ment fund to make deals around the world. The fund aimed at seek­ing in­vest­ments in ar­eas in­clud­ing in­fras­truc­ture, tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

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