LONDON — Imagenation Abu Dhabi has inked an exclusive pact with Empire Intl. to distribute its Emirati slate to cinemas and on DVD throughout the Middle East and North Africa region.Imagenation’s first two local productions, Nawaf Al-Janahi’s coming-of-age story “Sea Shadow” and Tobe Hooper’s horror pic “Dijnn,” are the first two pics to come out of the deal. Both are in post, having lensed in the United Arab Emirates. Release dates for both pics are yet to be announced. “The launch of our first local productions is an important milestone for Imagenation Abu Dhabi,” said its CEO Michael Garin, who took up the role in February. “Given Empire’s extensive experience and knowledge of this market, they were an obvious choice to ensure our movies reach the right audience.” The three-year-old Imagenation, Abu Dhabi’s $1 billion production arm, has gone through some reshuffles this year: In February, its CEO Ed Borgerding ankled following the departure of COO Stefan Brunner. Garin stepped into the role shortly after Borgerding’s departure. Since then, the previously vocal company has kept quiet about its operations, focusing on getting its ducks in a row under the new regime. Last month, former Virgin Media topper Malcolm Wall, was named the new CEO of the Abu Dhabi Media Co., which wholly owns Imagenation. Wall will take up the new role from Sept. 1. Imagenation has expressed that the film fund remains committed to financial partnerships, which include production and financing joint ventures with Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Ent., Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media and National Geographic Ent.
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