UAE production company Image Nation Abu Dhabi has wrapped production on its latest Emirati feature film, Worthy.
Directed by Ali Mostafa, the action thriller is the Emirati filmmaker’s third feature. The film stars a cast of Arabic actors from across the region, including Samer Ismael (Omar) and Ruba Blal (When I saw You). Mostafa teamed up once again with Syrian actor Samer Al Masri (Bab Al Hara), Palestinian actor Ali Suliman (Zinzana, Paradise Now) and Emirati Habib Ghuloom (City of Life) who have all appeared in the director’s past features.
Worthy, which was announced earlier this year at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, is being produced by Hollywood veterans Peter Safran (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) who worked on the project with Mostafa’s regional producer Rami Yasin (Sea Shadow, Zinzana).
The script was written by up and coming writer Vikram Weet (Devils Past).
Ali Mostafa said: “It feels incredible to have completed my third feature film in just two years. I couldn’t have done it without the support from the team at Image Nation. They have been integral in continuing my career and it’s great to be working with them again.”
Ben Ross, Head of Narrative Film & Television at Image Nation, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Ali once again. He is a pioneer in the Emirati film world and, along with us at Image Nation, is helping to put the UAE film industry on the world map.”
Schneider, who visited the set during filming, said: “This is a very impressive production for the Middle East and something I don’t think audiences will have seen come out of the UAE before. It’s been great to work with Ali and the team and I look forward to seeing the finished product.”
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, added: “Worthy is another example of how Image Nation brings together the world class talents of international filmmakers with the best of local and regional expertise. We are pleased to have the blockbuster filmmakers Steven and Peter on the team alongside Ali and the rest of our cast and crew.
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“We’ve made a number of impressive production announcements this year, across our television, film and documentary departments, which shows how quickly the media industry is evolving in the region.”
Last year Image Nation, in partnership with twofour54, released Mostafa’s road trip comedy From A to B. The film is set to launch in the UK later this month at BFI London International Film Festival. His first feature film was 2009’s City of Life, arguably the first Emirati blockbuster.
Worthy is the latest production on Image Nation’s impressive local slate. Last month saw the world premiere of Zinzana at Fantastic Fest, a leading genre film festival in Texas, where it received rave reviews. The psychological thriller is the debut feature film from Emirati director Majid Al Ansari, who began his career as an intern at Image Nation.
Zinzana will follow its Fantastic Fest success with its European Premiere at the prestigious BFI London festival later this month, alongside Mostafa’s From A to B and Image Nation’s international co-production He Named Me Malala.
Garin continued: “Directors like Ali and Majid are an inspiration to budding filmmakers in the region. Image Nation will continue to support the local industry and help aspiring filmmakers realize their dreams.”
Worthy is set in a dystopian future which has been plunged into chaos due to a chronic water shortage. The story follows a small group of survivors seeking refuge with the only clean remaining water source in the area. When two visitors infiltrate their compound, they soon become pawns in a test for survival, where only one of them shall be chosen worthy.
The film is now in post-production and is set for release in 2016.