Audiences across the Middle East will get a chance to see Image Nation’s highly anticipated local feature film, Zinzana, in cinemas from December 10.
Produced by Image Nation, one of the leading entertainment and media companies in the Middle East, and directed by Emirati filmmaker Majid Al Ansari, the film will have its UAE premiere at Dubai International Film Festival, the same day it is released to the public.
Ansari, who started at Image Nation as an intern over six years ago, is delighted his first feature film will be released in his home country. Ansari said: “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for – I’ve wanted to be a filmmaker my whole life, and to have my first ever feature released in theatres is incredible. I can’t wait to see how audiences react.
“I’d like to thank Image Nation for their unwavering support throughout my career. I couldn’t have done this without them.”
Mohammed Al Mubarak, chairman of Image Nation, said: “To have one of our own team members have their film released theatrically is an overwhelmingly proud moment for us. Majid learnt the ropes of filmmaking with Image Nation and our partners oversees. We jumped at the chance to produce his first ever film and we are so honored to have seen him grow as a filmmaker.
“Majid is set for a bright career as a director and is a shining example of how Image Nation can help UAE filmmakers achieve their dreams.”
Zinzana, which stars award-winning Arabic actors Ali Suliman and Saleh Bakri, is a neo-noir thriller set in a small town police station. Talal (Saleh Bakri) is held for an unknown crime and a visiting policeman from a nearby station, Dabaan (Ali Suliman), sets in motion a series of events that result in a cat and mouse game with life and death stakes.
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The film had its world premiere at leading genre festival Fantastic Fest in Texas and screened at the prestigious BFI London Film Festival earlier this year to rave reviews. Critics have called the film a ‘world-class’ production and called Ansari the ‘Tarantino of the Middle East’.
Zinzana marks the second release of a local Image Nation film this year. The filmed entertainment company released Ali Mostafa’s From A to B in January and completed the director’s second film Worthy over the summer. Mostafa’s film is set to be released in early 2016.
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation said: “This has been a record year for Image Nation, with the release of a number of our local and international productions and the start of production on many more. This year’s progress has put us and the UAE film industry on an exciting trajectory. We hope this will continue for many years to come.”
It was announced earlier this year that Ansari would be represented by United Talent Agency (UTA). Vox are handling distribution in the Middle East, while Cinetic are handling US distribution and IM Global handling international.
Jacques Kruger, general manager of Vox, said: “Zinzana marks a number of firsts for all involved. It is VOX’s first collaboration with Image Nation, the first Emirati film that we will distribute in the Middle East and the first feature film Majid Al Ansari.
“We feel privileged to collaborate with Image Nation and support their vision of identifying and nurturing Emirati talent. We believe the film has both regional and universal appeal and will travel well beyond the borders of the UAE. We are very excited about the commercial release of the film and will be releasing the film across the GCC after its premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival in December.”
Zinzana will be released across the Middle East on Dec 10, with the exception of Egypt (Dec 17) and Lebanon (January).