Fortissimo Films has pacted with Abu Dhabi’s $1 billion production arm, Imagenation, to exclusively sell international rights for the shingle’s first slate of local and Arabic-language pics. The multi-year, multi-picture sales agreement kicks off with Imagenation’s Emirati productions: Nawaf Al-Janahi’s coming-of-age story “Sea Shadow” and Tobe Hooper’s Arabian supernatural thriller “Djinn,” both in post.

Deal comes after Imagenation inked an exclusive deal last month with Empire Intl. to distribute its Emirati slate to cinemas and on DVD throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

“With their extensive industry knowledge, Fortissimo will not only be an important partner in the distribution of our films internationally, but also in the development of our future film projects,” said Imagenation CEO Michael Garin, appointed in February. “They will provide us with real-time data on our existing projects, while also helping us to determine the type of films we will develop going forward.”

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Fortissimo topper Michael J. Werner added: “We are witnessing the creation of a new, unique and talented source for international cinema and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Imagenation Abu Dhabi.”

Imagenation has been keeping a low profile since exec reshuffles this year saw the departure of former CEO Ed Borgerding and chief operating officer Stefan Brunner. Sources indicate it has used the time to focus on building its local production biz.

The company is still committed to its production and financing joint ventures with Hyde Park Entertainment, Participant Media and National Geographic Entertainment.