The world’s first Sharia-compliant movie fund, which is set to film and produce its own Hollywood-style story of a UAE hero, has reached more than $40m in just four weeks, the fund’s manager has told Arabian Business.
Funding for Antar: The Black Knight is expected to reach $85-90m by April, half of which will come from UAE investors, said Jason Marsh.
“We’ve got $40m so far. It’s probably going to be around $85-90m. The fund only went online about four weeks ago so in four weeks we made some fairly hefty in-roads,” he told Arabian Business.
“Around 50 percent [of investors are] from the Middle East and 50 percent from the Europe. We are now in phases two of the funding and I expect that most of the rest of the money will come from the UAE,” he added.
The film, which is set to include a string of Hollywood “A-list” actors, will tell the story of the UAE-based hero Antar, the son of an Arab prince and an African slave who fought for his freedom to become a legendary explorer warrior.
The movie, which is scheduled to be filmed in Morocco and could also include scenes shot in the UAE, is the first instalment in a trilogy of films and will be released in 2012. It is being slated at the world’s first Sharia-compliant ‘friendly’ movie, which is funded by a fully Sharia-compliant fund.
Investors in three year fund will be given the first 120 percent back made on box office ticket sales as well benefit from the sale of DVDs and other joint ventures, said Marsh. “Trying to calculate the return is obviously difficult but the first 120 percent goes straight back to the investors….The reason for a three year term is so we can benefit from the DVD sales,” he said.
Investors will also be given the opportunity for walk-on parts in the film. “Because we run the movie we can offer other benefits to the investors which money generally can’t buy. Be it a walk-on in the film or an extra in the movie. For our bigger investors we are going to fly them to the set and they get to meet the stars,” he said.