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Fortissimo Films Strikes International Distribution Deal with Abu Dhabi Producer

Photo of Bryce J. Renninger By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire August 24, 2011 at 3:41AM

Imagenation Abu Dhabi has entered into an exclusive international distribution deal with Fortissimo Films.
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Imagenation Abu Dhabi has entered into an exclusive international distribution deal with Fortissimo Films.

The deal secures distribution outside of the Middle East and North Africa for Imagenation's first slate of films produced in the United Arab Emirates. The multi-year, multi-film deal will begin with Imagenation's first two Emirati productions: the coming-of-age story "Sea Shadow" from Nawaf Al-Jahani ("The Circle") and supernatural thriller "Djinn" from "Poltergeist" director Tobe Hooper.

Both films are currently in post-production, and their release dates are as yet undecided.

Empire International will release the films in the Middle East/North Africa region.

The full release follows.

Imagenation Abu Dhabi and Fortissimo Films Unite to Take Emirati Cinema to the World

Strong regional and international partnerships add power to Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s global reach

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 23, 2011: Imagenation Abu Dhabi announced an exclusive international sales agreement with Fortissimo Films today, securing world-wide distribution for the first slate of local and Arabic language film projects being developed, financed and produced by the company.

The announcement follows the recent distribution agreement with Empire International for the MENA region, and gives Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s first local productions global reach with the support of these two renowned industry partners.

The multi-year, multi-picture agreement will begin with the international distribution of Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s first two Emirati productions - the coming-of-age story Sea Shadow by celebrated Emirati director Nawaf Al-Janahi (The Circle), and the Arabian supernatural thriller Djinn, by renowned director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist).

On announcing the deal, Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Imagenation Abu Dhabi commented:" Fortissimo has a long and successful track-record of taking emerging film industries to a world-wide audience. They work closely with their partners to nurture and effectively position films across a number of markets, and it was this experience, involvement and commitment to the industry that we sought in our international sales agent. Through our new partnerships with both Fortissimo and Empire, the strength of Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s content will now be matched by the strength of our distribution network.”

Michael Garin, CEO of Imagenation Abu Dhabi, continued: “With their extensive industry knowledge, Fortissimo will not only be an important partner in the distribution of our films internationally, but also in the development of our future film projects. They will provide us with real time data on our existing projects while also helping us to determine the type of films we will develop going forward, all with increased market awareness.”

Michael J. Werner, Chairman of Fortissimo, added: "We are witnessing the creation of a new, unique and talented source for international cinema and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Imagenation Abu Dhabi and the amazing slate of projects that the company is putting together. The diversity of the slate and the care and strategizing that is going into the development of each project means that these films have real potential to resonate with international festivals, journalists, distributors and audiences the world over.”

Both Djinn and Sea Shadow are currently in post-production having completed principal photography in the UAE. International launch plans for both titles are yet to be confirmed.

Renowned genre master Tobe Hooper returns to form with Djinn, a powerful story of a young Emirati couple who move into a new luxury high-rise apartment only to find they have entered the nightmarish world of djinn, supernatural beings from Arabic lore. Sea Shadow follows a young Emirati boy and girl growing up in a small seaside village, who struggle with tradition and convention in their journey towards adulthood.

Imagenation Abu Dhabi is committed to developing the film industry in the UAE by producing films with Emirati content and talent, encouraging the growth of Emirati filmmakers, and advancing the quality of film production in the region. Their international partnerships have allowed them to bring best-in-class experience and expertise back to the UAE to both develop local content and work closely with local talent, sharing the skills of Hollywood and the international production community with the industry in the UAE.

This article is related to: World Cinema, Acquisitions