Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s latest Emirati feature film, Zinzana, will have its world premiere alongside the best new horror, thriller and sci-fi films at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas this September.
Zinzana, a psychological thriller, is the feature length directorial debut from Emirati filmmaker Majid Al Ansari, who started his career as an intern at the Abu Dhabi based filmed entertainment company in 2011.
Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation said: “To have an Emirati film showcased on the world stage is amazing news, but to have one of our very own Image Nation team take a coveted slot at Fantastic Fest is incredible.
“We are all so proud of Majid and how far he has come since working with us. He is an inspiration for young Emirati directors looking to get into filmmaking – and proves that hard work really does pay off.”
The film, which stars Ali Suliman (Paradise Now) and Saleh Bakri (Salvo, The Time Remains), follows the story of a young man trapped in a prison cell who is forced to play a madman’s game in order to save his family’s lives.
Al Ansari, 28, said: “When I heard that my first feature film got into Fantastic Fest, I was ecstatic. To have my first thriller premiere at a festival which specializes in genre films is amazing. I can’t imagine a better place to premiere Zinzana and can’t wait to see the audience’s reactions.
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“This is an amazing achievement for the entire Emirati film community. The UAE film industry has grown right in front of my eyes and it’s incredible that we are now receiving worldwide recognition for our work.”
Before directing his first feature film, Al Ansari’s first short film Intruder! won a Golden Palm award at the Mexico International Film festival in 2012, and screened at numerous festivals around the globe.
Zinzana was produced by Rami Yasin (Seashadow, From A to B) and also stars popular Emirati actors Ali Al Jabri, Abdullah Al Shehhi and Mansoor Al Feeli.
Fantastic Fest is a leading genre film festival, specializing in horror, thriller, sci-fi films, which runs from September 24th – October 1st. Previous films showcased at the festival include Academy-Award winning There Will Be Blood, and Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto.
Image Nation has been ramping up its film and television production over the last year and has a number of new titles in the pipeline. Emirati director Ali Mostafa, whose film From A to B entertained audiences across the Middle East earlier this year and was selected to screen at the prestigious London Film Festival in October, announced his third film Worthy at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival in May. The film is currently in production.
Zinzana will be released in the UAE later this year with further screenings and festival appearances to be announced in the coming months.