Exec takes over at Abu Dhabi production arm

Imagenation Abu Dhabi has tapped Michael Garin as CEO in the wake of the departure of Ed Borgerding from the post last week.

The three-year-old Abu Dhabi-based film fund made the announcement Friday in a memorandum to its employees from Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman elect.

“Michael has spent the last three and a half years on the Executive Committee of our parent company, Abu Dhabi Media Co., so he knows our business well,” Al Mubarak said. “Michael’s deep experience in the industry, combined with his stellar relationships both internationally and in this region, will be a great asset to all of us. As CEO, Michael will help us manage our key international partnerships, along with overseeing our local productions here in Abu Dhabi.”

Garin served four years as CEO of Central European Media Enterprises — Central and Eastern Europe’s biggest TV network — between 2004 and 2008 and led an aggressive expansion of the net. He co-founded Lorimar Telepictures in 1978 and is a former exec at ING Barings.

Borgerding had been the CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Co. and Imagenation Abu Dhabi for the past three years. ADMC chief financial officer Frank Mooty was tapped last week as CEO of ADMC and wholly owned subsid Imagenation Abu Dhabi while a search was conducted for a successor.

AMDC said last week that Borgerding had left to “concentrate on independent projects.” His ankling followed the departure of Stefan Brunner as chief operating officer of Imagenation last month.

During Borgerding’s tenure as head of Abu Dhabi’s $1 billion production arm, Imagenation forged production and financing joint ventures with Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment, Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media and National Geographic Entertainment.

Outfit has just wrapped its first Khaleeji pic, “Sea Shadow,” and is in pre-production on horror-thriller “Djinn.” Imagenation has also invested in pics such as “Furry Vengeance,” “My Name Is Khan” and upcoming Martin Sheen starrer “The Double.”

Al Mubarak emphasized Friday that the film fund remains committed to its financial partnerships.

“Over the last two years, Imagenation Abu Dhabi has been very successful in forging international partnerships that have helped put Abu Dhabi on the international film making map,” he said. “We remain very committed to these partnerships. Their expertise and resource are crucial to our mission to contribute to the development of the film industry here in the UAE.”

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