Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Vox Cinemas owner Majid Al Futtaim and MBC Studios have forged a landmark alliance to launch a major production partnership for film and TV projects across the Middle East. The trio will greenlight and support several titles annually, representing a significant boost to the region’s growing entertainment industry.
The first film under the pact is Three Four Eternity, a vampire family drama produced by Mohamed Hefzy (Clash, Sheikh Jackson) under his Film Clinic banner. The pic marks the directorial debut of the film’s writer, Rami Yasin (The Worthy, Zinzana).
Another project, HWJN, the adaptation of the bestselling Saudi Arabian novel from author Ibrahim Abbas, is currently in development. The story’s about a devout God-fearing Jinn who forges a special bond with a talented female medical student.
“This region has infinitely talented writers and filmmakers wanting to tell their stories, as well as a sophisticated consumer audience that craves locally made content that resonates with them,” says Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer at Image Nation.
While news relating to Saudi Arabia has been muted compared to 2018’s Cannes, and following controversy in the past year, this is the second significant move in the Middle East over the early days of the festival, demonstrating expansion across the region. Image Nation and MBC Studios also announced earlier this year a slate of Saudi films for local, regional and international audiences, which aim to film in Saudi and utilize Saudi talent in front of and behind the camera.
MBC Group is the largest and leading media company in the Middle East and North Africa region and is headquartered in Dubai. Award-winning film and entertainment company Image Nation has a successful track record of investing in international co-productions, garnering many prizes along the way.
Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, is contributing to the partnership through its 400-screen Vox Cinemas arm as both an exhibitor and distributor.
Peter Smith, Managing Director of MBC Studios calls the partnership “a 360-degree Arab film entity that covers all aspects of content creation, including development, production, theatrical exhibition, televising on the Middle East’s leading broadcaster and SVOD platforms, as well as international sales.”