By Shane McGinley
Image Nation denies locally-made movie is to be scrapped amid concerns over its content
Abu Dhabi film company Image Nation has denied reports it has canned the locally-produced horror movie Djinn following claims UAE authorities were unhappy with the final cut.
Media reports claimed a rough cut of the movie had angered Abu Dhabi authorities who ordered Image Nation, the producer behind the film, not to release it.
"These rumours are unfounded. Djinn is in active post-production, and Image Nation looks forward to releasing the film in theatres later this year," said Danielle Perissi of Abu Dhabi Media Company, parent company of Image Nation.
The film, which was directed by Tobe Hooper of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist fame, has had initial test screenings in London and is due to be screened in LA later this year.
Perissi also denied claims Djinn had been sold on to another production company.
"No formal offers were made for Djinn," she said.
Along with the coming-of-age story Sea Shadow, Djinn was Image Nation’s first locally-produced film. The Abu Dhabi-based film fund last year pledged to triple its annual investment in the fledgling UAE movie industry and produce up to six Emiratis films a year by 2016.
But the filming of the horror flick was not without controversy. Emirati filmmaker Nayla Al Khaja, who worked as a cultural consultant on the movie, walked off the set in protest at the lack of local input.
“I was the only Emirati on set — all the key players weren’t,” she told Arabian Business. “It’s nothing against the people at all; it’s just that you couldn’t call it an Emirati film.
“Obviously it’s a movie, and they have to exaggerate and create stuff, but for me, only the second film they made — ‘Sea Shadow’ — was Emirati.”
Image Nation was launched in 2008 as a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company. The company’s film credits include the Hollywood thriller The Double, Contagion and The Help.