Imagenation Abu Dhabi reveals slate of Emirati film projects


Sea Shadow, first film in slate, recently announced at the Cannes Film Festival

Imagenation Abu Dhabi today revealed a slate of Emirati film projects that will be developed, financed and produced by the company.  The slate includes six very diverse films – the drama Million’s Poet, the horror thriller Djinn, the adventure comedy Alaska, the romantic comedy Monsoon and the romance Alis and Aishas. The first film in the slate, the endearing coming of age story Sea Shadow, was announced last month at the Cannes Film Festival and will begin shooting in the UAE in winter 2010/2011.  These six projects will be developed over the course of two short years.

“We are particularly proud to announce our slate of Emirati films as it solidly demonstrates our commitment to the film industry in the UAE,” said H.E. Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Imagenation Abu Dhabi.  “With each of these films we will be working together with some of the most gifted talent in the UAE to produce high-quality films based on local content.”

Imagenation Abu Dhabi CEO, Edward Borgerding, added: “We believe that each of the films on this slate has the potential to resonate with international movie audiences.  Not only are we aiming to make commercially-viable films, but we are also hoping to share the local Emirati culture with movie-goers around the world.”

Stefan Brunner, COO of Imagenation Abu Dhabi, commented:  “This initial line up showcases the close relationships we have developed with some of the most talented filmmakers here in Abu Dhabi and throughout the UAE.  We are thrilled that they have chosen to collaborate with us on these universal stories; projects we believe will advance Emirati cinema and widen the scope of its appeal both regionally and internationally.”

Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s slate features the following productions:

  • Million’s Poet – Inspired by the successful TV show, Million’s Poet follows the struggle of a young Bedouin girl named Salamah, who lives with her father and brother in the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. Salamah’s greatest passion is poetry, but she is limited by her strict father and the assumptions of society.  She makes a deal with her brother to participate in the “Million’s Poet” contest in her stead, but soon their ruse is revealed, leading to a climactic showdown in which Salamah must overcome her worst fears and prove herself to society and her father.
  • Djinn – Penned by U.S writer David Tully (Hepzibah), the film centers on the tenants of a new, luxury high-rise built on the site of an abandoned fishing village called Al Hamra who discover that someone – or something – has moved in before them.  A unique new take on the haunted house tale, Djinn explores demonic possession and uncovers the dark, nightmarish truth behind classic fairytales of the Genie .
  • Alaska – An adventure comedy written by Ahmed El Arshi, Alaska follows two students from Abu Dhabi studying abroad in the U.S. desperate to join the most popular fraternity on campus, they need to fulfill a certain pledge: having their picture taken at the “Welcome to Alaska” billboard. This sets them off on a road trip filled with culture clashes, kidnapping and runaway pigs – while also teaching them new lessons about friendship, cultural identity and what it means to truly belong.
  • Monsoon – Written by Yussef Ibrahim, Monsoon is a romantic comedy set in modern day Abu Dhabi.  The film centers on Omar, a popular Emirati talk show host who falls for Mahaba. Omar tries to win the heart of Mahaba’s disapproving Indian mother by showing his love for India, however another conflict arises after a rich Indian suitor proposes.  Will love finally triumph over cultural differences?
  • Alis and Aishas – A touching romantic comedy set in the 80s, Alis and Aishas chronicles the quest of three young Emirati men in their search for true love.  Struggling with the mass shortage of women in their own country, they travel to Egypt and begin a journey filled with cultural differences, linguistic anomalies and life lessons. If one cannot find love in Egypt after all, where can love be found?
  • Sea Shadow – Set in an Emirati neighborhood (fireej) where traditions and the local culture make it harder to express love and emotions openly, Sea Shadow follows the story of 16 year-olds Mansour and Kaltham.  The teens commence a journey of self discovery that takes them from Ras al Khaima all the way to Abu Dhabi after life in their little fireej is shaken up by misunderstandings, mix-ups, and wrong decisions.  Directed by acclaimed Emirati director Nawaf Al-Janahi and written by Mohamed Hassan Ahmad, the film was first announced at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

Imagenation Abu Dhabi is committed to developing the film industry in the UAE by producing films with Emirati content and talent, encouraging the growth of Emirati filmmakers, and advancing the quality of film production in the region.  The company has a number of international partnerships which have allowed it to bring best-in-class experience and expertise back to the UAE to both develop local content and work closely with local talent, sharing the skills of Hollywood and the international production community with the industry in the UAE.

About Imagenation Abu Dhabi

Launched in 2008 as a subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), Imagenation Abu Dhabi has rapidly become one of the world’s leading feature film producers, playing an instrumental role in the development of a film industry in the United Arab Emirates.

Imagenation Abu Dhabi develops, finances and produces Arabic and international features which offer fresh perspectives, have universal appeal and tell compelling stories that inspire, enlighten and entertain.

The company has formed strategic international partnerships to develop those stories with a range of high profile producers, including Participant Media, National Geographic Films, Hyde Park Entertainment, Parkes /Macdonald Productions, Warner Bros., and Singapore’s Media Development Authority (MDA). Together they are producing commercial films and content that opens a unique window to the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In addition, Imagenation Abu Dhabi partnered with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment – co- financing video games such as: SpeedRacer: The Videogame, Fear 2: Project Origin, Looney Tunes Acme Arsenal and Watchmen: The End is Nigh.

Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s feature films include the Bollywood hit My Name is Khan, The Crazies, Shorts, and Furry Vengeance, as well as an upcoming slate including Peter Weir’s The Way Back, Doug Liman’s Fair Game, and Jodie Foster’s The Beaver.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here