Mohamed Al Mubarak
Chairman, twofour54
Michael Garin
CEO, Image Nation Abu Dhabi & twofour54
Ben Ross
Chief Content Officer, Image Nation Abu Dhabi
The state-funded Emirati studio has used its deep pockets to pursue what it describes as “multi-pronged strategy of calculated risk in Hollywood” to help finance bold and commercially viable local projects and build a local industry. It has partnerships with Hollywood’s Parkes MacDonald Productions, low-budget label Spooky Pictures and an investment stake in sales and production outfit AGC, with whom it co-produced the Emirati war drama AL KAMEEN, which attracted more than 170,000 cinema admissions in the U.A.E. to become the country’s most successful Arab-language release. The film was distributed by Vox, one Image Nation’s partners alongside MBC Studios in a three-way production pact that has focused on genre-driven feature films. When Image Nation does invest in Hollywood films, the intention is to make a profit that can then be ploughed back into subsidizing its local Arab-language activities.