By Staff writer
First project under this new partnership is the adaptation of author Ibraheem Abbas’ best-selling novel sci-fi, HWJN
O3 Productions, the production arm of Dubai-based MBC Group, and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, have announced a new partnership for film and television production.
The first project under this new partnership is the adaptation of author Ibraheem Abbas’ best-selling novel sci-fi, HWJN into an Arabic-language feature film which will be co-produced and co-financed by both companies.
The novel HWJN is a pop culture phenomenon in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab World, having topped bestseller lists across the Gulf.
Ben Ross, head of Narrative Film and Television at Image Nation, said: “The new strategic partnership between
Image Nation and MBC is a further indication of our shared commitment to
producing high-quality Arab language film and television for the Arab world.”
“This move reinforces Image Nation’s
position as a valued production partner in the region and adds to our already
robust slate of programs across film and television.”
03 and Image Nation are also partnering on a television spin-off of the feature entitled The Delusionists, as well as two further television series, details of which will be announced in due course.
Fadi Ismail, group director of 03 Productions said: “At 03, this project is a landmark one for us as we are embarking on an exciting journey into an innovative and fresh genre of Saudi drama based on a best seller novel and its exciting world created by the pioneer work of Yatakhayaloon team.”
HWJN tells the story of the friendly, devout Jinn, HWJN, and his friendship with a human Saudi female medical student called Sawsan. As their connection deepens, breaking the barriers and dimensions between the human and Jinn worlds, the scene is set for an epic showdown with the evil Jinn ruler Sanam.
Said Ibraheem Abbas, author of HWJN, said: “Four years ago our first novel HWJN was rejected by publishing houses because fantasy and science fiction were alien to Arab audiences. We created our own publishing house and exceeded expectations – the Arab public, especially young people, were eager for fantasy and science fiction and our four novels topped the bestseller lists in the region.
“Our fanbase have always asked to see their beloved characters on screen. HWJN, the genie who has removed the barriers between his world and the human world, will finally meet his audience 'face to face' and we are looking forward to working with Image Nation, MBC and O3.”
Separately, the Dubai Film Market (DFM), the business counterpart of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), together with Image Nation Abu Dhabi is partnering for the fifth year to award AED250,000 to five Gulf filmmakers for their short film projects.
Submissions are now open for Gulf filmmakers to apply for the 2017 Enjaaz cycle for production funding. Submissions will be judged by a panel of experts from Image Nation and Enjaaz who will select five talented filmmakers who have submitted compelling storytelling projects.
Submissions close on June 30. Enjaaz has become a wellspring for the evolution of cinema in the region and contributed to raising the profile of Arab films in festivals and film markets, both at home and abroad.
Since the programme’s inception, more than 140 films have benefitted from the support system provided by Enjaaz.