By Afreen Khan
Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Majid Al Futtaim and MBC Studios, three of MENA’s most influential and major media companies, signed an agreement to come together in a coalition to create a major production platform for film and television related projects in the region.
This partnership, they said, will facilitate the production of many more Film and TV projects that will run annually, therefore furthering the development of media content that is produced in the Middle East. This move, according to them, will abundantly support future Middle Eastern projects, ensuring the successful production and broadcast of the content created, as well as ensuring the increase in production value and quality.
Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer at Image Nation, the Academy Award-winning media and entertainment company in the Middle East, said in a statement, “This region has infinitely talented writers and filmmakers wanting to tell their stories, as well as a sophisticated consumer audience that craves locally made content that resonates with them.” The three companies said they firmly believe their partnership will allow more creative personalities to come forward.
The Majid Al Futtaim group contributes to the partnership through its widely known experience, VOX Cinemas. The cinemas are also extensively available, not only across the UAE but within the Middle East region. The Majid Al Futtaim group said they also aspires to expand its already existing reach of 400 screens across 8 countries. They aim to operate over 1000 screens across the GCC by 2023, including 600 alone in Saudi Arabia, which thus makes it the substantial platform for creators and producers to showcase their content locally.
Meanwhile, Peter Smith, the Managing Director of MBC Studios said in the joint statement that the companies want to bring the “360-degree Arab film entity.” Accordingly, the experience should cover aspects of content creation, including development, production, theatrical exhibition, televising on the Middle East’s leading broadcaster and SVOD platforms, as well as international sales.
“We want to create premium Arabic language feature film content from across the Middle East to connect with audiences in the region and internationally. This partnership, in essence, creates a fully integrated studio,” he added.
Image Nation and MBC Studios also announced that they were working on projects from the Saudi Arabian region, particularly films intended for local, regional and even international distribution with the intention of fully incorporating Saudi resources and talent.