You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Int’l Exec You Should Know: Rula Nasser

Producer builds a business in Jordan with tyro talent

Black comedy “Me Myself and Murdoch” (no, not that Murdoch) — about a Palestinian man who awakes from a coma to discover he can speak only Hebrew — is the first time the Jordanian producer Rula Nasser has worked with a budget of $1 million. It’s also the first out-and-out laffer from her shingle, the Imaginarium Films.

Still, Nasser maintains, money is not a filmmaking imperative. “Story is the big issue,” she says. “If you have something you believe in, you will find your way.”

That’s been Nasser’s m.o. as she’s shepherded a pics on a shoestring in a nation in which she admits that filmmaking is “not in the DNA.”

Me Myself and Murdoch” will be directed by sophomore Jordanian helmer-scribe Yahya Al Abdallah, whose first feature, “The Last Friday,” was produced by Nasser in 2011 on a $100,000 budget. Imaginarium’s first film, Mohammad Al  Hushki’s 2010 Amman-set drama “Transit Cities,” produced for $20,000, scooped the Special Jury Prize in Dubai.

Nasser got her start in the film industry in 2000 working on a BBC series shot in Jordan. In 2006, she joined Jordan’s Royal Film Commission as an operations manager, and was part of a team that set up film clubs in Amman and throughout the region. She established Imaginarium in 2010.

The fact that many Arab countries, including Jordan, are underscreened is a sore spot for Nasser. “You need to show your films to local audiences. There is this paradox that Arab films travel internationally, but don’t get seen in their home territories,” she says.

In truth, the nation is better known to the international film community as a location for Hollywood pics such as “The Hurt Locker” and, more recently, Jon Stewart’s upcoming “Rosewater,” rather than for its cinematic heritage.

Nasser is hoping to change that.

Her latest finished film, Palestinian director Mais Darwazah’s docu “My Love Awaits Me by the Sea,” was well received at its Toronto fest world preem last year. Making the transition to lighter fare, Nasser recently wrapped shooting on road movie “The Curve,” by Jordanian first-timer Rifqi Assaf, co-produced with Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic.

The challenge, she adds, “is to take first-time talents and try to make something with them.”

More Film

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

  • Roman Polanski extradition

    Academy Responds to Roman Polanski: 'Procedures Were Fair and Reasonable'

    UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit from director Roman Polanski that claimed he was unfairly expelled from the organization behind the Oscars. “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said. The Academy’s statement [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content