ROME – Prominent Middle Eastern production company Image Nation Abu Dhabi and Brooklyn-based digital outfit Futurism have formed a partnership to develop, produce, and distribute feature films, documentaries, TV series and VR content that aims to be on the leading edge of the digital space.
Co-founded by young U.S. entrepreneurs Alex Klokus and Daniel Sutera, Futurism has at its core a website with a curated feed about the latest scientific breakthroughs and technological innovations that boasts more than 140 million monthly video views. The Futurism portal also has an Arabic version called Mostaqbal, which was launched in 2016.
Image Nation produces TV series and feature films by Emirati directors, including Netflix’s first acquisition out of the UAE, “Rattle the Cage” (pictured). The group has recently ventured into VR with British studio Alchemy.
Under the partnership, the two companies will collaborate across their respective platforms to produce, market, and distribute content. The Image Nation outlets include Quest Arabiya, which is Image Nation and Discovery Communication’s free-to-air factual entertainment television channel, aired across the Middle East and North Africa. Futurism outlet’s will be the Mostaqbal Arabic-language site.
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“This deal brings two leading content creators together to tackle some of the biggest topics of our time, including technology, science, and societal change,” said Ben Ross, Head of Narrative Film and Television at Image Nation Abu Dhabi. “Image Nation is pleased to be partnering with Futurism, and we look forward to working together to promote the media industry in Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
Klokus, Futurism’s CEO, said that “the rapid technological change and innovation happening in the Middle East makes the region an ideal home to be sharing news and stories with.”
Futurism’s content arm, Futurism Studios, is currently co-producing Alex Winter-directed feature documentary “Trust Machine,” about blockchain and its innovative potential, with New York-based SingularDTV.
Image Nation in February became an investor in former IM Global exec Stuart Ford’s new company, AGC Studios. It also has a partnership with China’s government-backed Intercontinental Communication Center for a $300-million fund to invest in movies and TV content produced in Hollywood, the UAE, and China.