Image Nation Abu Dhabi is reteaming with Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa on sci-fi project The Worthy and bringing genre experts Peter Safran (The Conjuring) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity) to produce alongside Rami Yasin.
Image Nation, Mostafa and Yasin previously worked together on the road trip pic From A To B, which Studio Canal will release in the UK. The Worthy is set in a dystopian future which has been plunged into chaos due to a chronic water shortage. The story follows a small group of survivors seeking refuge with the only clean remaining water source in the area. When two visitors infiltrate their compound, they soon become pawns in a test for survival, where only one of them shall be chosen worthy.
The mixture of Eastern talent and Western expertise with the collaboration between Mostafa and Safran and Schneider is a bold precedent for the region. “This is a new adventure for me,” said Mostafa. “My producers, Peter and Steven, have produced some of the best genre movies ever made with critical and commercial hits such as The Conjuring and Paranormal Activity. They are really at the top of their game right now and their expertise will be invaluable on The Worthy.”
“The film industry in Abu Dhabi is at an extremely exciting time in its development, I am looking forward to playing a small part in its growth by working on this fantastic film,” added Safran.
This is the second big announcement for Image Nation at this year’s Cannes. The company is fully financing hot title The Circle, starring Tom Hanks and Alicia Vikander, which IM Global is selling internationally with CAA + UTA repping domestic rights. The Circle will be presented by Image Nation in association with Parkes MacDonald Productions. The film is being produced by Hanks and Goetzman for Playtone, Anthony Bregman for Likely Story, and James Ponsoldt, who also directs.
Image Nation also financed and produced Emirati filmmaker Majid Al Ansari’s directorial debut Zinzana and has high-profile docu He Named Me Malala, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), in the pipelines. Participant Media co-produced. Fox Searchlight will open the film in the U.S. on October 2.
“This announcement comes at an exciting time as we prepare to enter a new era of filmmaking in the UAE and the region,” said Image Nation chief exec Michael Garin. “To be announcing two huge productions with Emirati directors in such a short period of time is an incredible step and is reflective of how we are continuing to grow rapidly as a local industry.”