The companies want to develop and produce narrative features and documentaries and scripted and unscripted TV with projects expected to have a science and new tech bent. Given that factual is all the rage right now, this could be a timely tie-up. The two firms will also look to work together across their platforms to market and distribute content, including via Quest Arabiya, Image Nation and Discovery Communication’s free-to-air factual ent channel which is broadcast across the MENA region and Mostaqbal, Futurism’s Arabic-language portal. First projects have yet to be revealed.
Image Nation is well known to Hollywood having backed movies including Tom Hanks thriller The Circle, doc He Named Me Malala, 99 Homes, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Help and Men In Black 3. The firm has previously invested in U.S. outfits including Hyde Park and and Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald’s Parkes/MacDonald shingles and more recently Stuart Ford’s fledgling AGC Studios. In 2016 the financier announced a $300m content fund with China. The financier recently debuted local production Shahab And Sheyab at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and revealed a tie up with producers Roy Lee and Steven Schneider.
According to Futurism, its site sees around 140 million hits a month. The site includes news, commentary and profiles around science and new tech. The firm’s content division Futurism Studios is currently in production with EnTech Studio SingularDTV on Alex Winter’s (Deep Web) doc feature Trust Machine about blockchain. Brooklyn-based Futurism Studios is led by President Geoff Clark.
“This deal brings two leading content creators together to tackle some of the biggest topics of our time, including technology, science and societal change,” said Ben Ross, Head of Narrative Film and Television at Image Nation Abu Dhabi. “Image Nation is pleased to be partnering with Futurism and we look forward to working together to promote the media industry in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
Alex Klokus, CEO of Futurism, added, “The most important storytelling today involves imagining humanity building a better future, and with the rapid technological change and innovation happening in the Middle East, makes the region an ideal home to be sharing news and stories with. Image Nation is the perfect partner to propel us into this new terrain and we look forward to leveraging our relationship to create premium content both about and for this important market.”