Company becomes Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Image Nation Intl.

Abu Dhabi’s $1 billion production arm Imagenation Abu Dhabi is rebranding to become simply Image Nation and has created two divisions — Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Image Nation Intl.

Image Nation Abu Dhabi will oversee Emirati pics, including two titles scheduled for release this year: Tobe Hooper’s horror thriller “Djinn” and Nawaf Al-Janahi’s coming-of-age story “Sea Shadow.”

It will also develop local talent in front of and behind the camera, including through internships and casting programs.

Image Nation Intl. will manage strategic relationships with producers, including its joint ventures with Participant Media and Hyde Park Entertainment, and relationships with Parkes/MacDonald Prods. and Warner Bros.Through its partnership with Participant Media, Image Nation Intl. co-produced “The Help,” which spent 25 days at the top of the U.S. box office, and “Contagion,” which opened in the top spot and has grossed nearly $68 million in less than a month.

Mohammed Al Otaiba will head Image Nation Abu Dhabi, reporting to Image Nation CEO Michael Garin. He will be responsible for Image Nation’s local films and for developing the division’s industry networks regionally and abroad while identifying opportunities and potential partners for local productions.

Al Otaiba spent the past 10 years as a diplomat representing the UAE at the United Nations in New York, Beijing and London. He has also written a number of short film scripts and created docu “Afghan Days.”

“By aligning all of our activities under two divisions, we will be able to better balance our local and international activities,” Garin said. “Over the next few months, we look forward to releasing our first two local films and a number of programs to help develop local talent, both supported by the resources and knowledge transfer afforded by our international partnerships.”

Chairman Mohammed Al Mubarak said, “Our new company structure reflects Image Nation’s mission to build the foundations of a strong local film industry in the UAE. Both our local and international activities contribute to the local industry; we are developing projects and talent within the UAE, while supporting them through vital international partnerships and investments.”

A comprehensive brand for the company will be rolled out over the next few months.

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