Image Nation Abu Dhabi will begin production on three new feature films in the final quarter of 2016, it has announced.
All three films will be shot on location in the UAE and Oman, with filming on the first project, On Borrowed Time, set to begin later this month, a statement said.
A feel-good comedy, filming for the movie will start on September 16 in Dubai.
The second film Rashid & Rajib, a body-switch comedy, will begin filming in November and work on the final movie, Scales, a dark mermaid drama, will start in early 2017.
Majid Al Ansari, director of Zinzana, Netflix’s first UAE acquisition, will serve as executive producer of all three productions.
“I am looking forward to collaborating with regional talent who I truly admire,” said Al Ansari.
“To be able to work on such large-scale productions on a regular basis is testament to the growth of the regional film industry and the support that is in place.”
Image Nation said it will work with local production companies to create the films and will help generate “hundreds of jobs”.
Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation, said: “By making and producing these films locally we are participating in the building of an entertainment industry and contributing to the economic development of the region, as well as providing invaluable job and training opportunities for talented Emiratis.”
Image Nation recently completed production on Ali Mostafa’s The Worthy – which is set to premiere this year – and Justice, a legal drama television series.
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation added: “This is an extremely exciting time for Image Nation as we go into production on three separate projects – the most the UAE has seen at any one time.
“Each of the projects show the calibre of talent we are working with across different genres and the subject matters give us a diverse slate of films.”
Abu Dhabi – and the wider UAE – has been focusing on growing its media industry in the past few years as part of its diversification away from an oil economy.
Along with developing the local industry, a key element of this strategy has been to attract international film productions to the country.
To entice foreign producers, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission offers first international projects a 30 per cent cash-back rebate on productions, including feature films, TV shows, commercials and music videos. This rebate also applies to airfares booked on Etihad Airways and accommodation in the city.
In recent years, the UAE capital has served as a backdrop for Hollywood movies such as Star Wars: Episode VII and Fast & Furious 7, Bollywood films such as Dishoom and Bang Bang, and TV shows such as The Bold and the Beautiful and The BBC’s Top Gear.
Also read: Abu Dhabi: A Star In The Making?