Dubai, November 14, 2016: Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the Middle East, will start production this week on new Emirati feature film RASHID & RAJAB, with FREEJcreator Mohammed Saeed Harib as director.
The body-switch comedy will be a celebration of Emirati culture and will unite the best Emirati talent in the region, with Ali Mostafa (THE WORTHY) producing the film, alongside Majid Al Ansari (ZINZANA) who will serve as executive producer.
Mohammed Al Mubarak, CEO of Image Nation, said of the film:“We are proud to be announcing our next film RASHID & RAJAB shooting in Dubai at what is a very busy time for Image Nation. This project really is a celebration of Emirati talent and showcases how far the UAE industry has progressed over the last couple of years. It’s great for us to be able to bring together Ali and Majid – who are part of the Image Nation family – on this new project as producers, and to work with Mohammed for the first time who is so well known in our region due to the huge popularity and success of FREEJ.”
The story follows Rashid, a wealthy workaholic Emirati businessman, and Rajab, a poor Egyptian deliveryman, who switch bodies mysteriously after a car crash, and see their lives from new perspectives as they struggle to switch back.
RASHID & RAJAB will mark the live action directorial debut of director Mohammed Saeed Harib, creator of renowned children’s animation FREEJ, which is broadcast on Dubai TV.
“I am very much looking forward to directing my first live action film with Image Nation and turning my hand to a different genre with RASHID & RAJAB. It will be an exciting challenge for me, but with the support of Ali, Majid and a great team, I can’t wait to tackle it”,said director Mohammed.
Image Nation has ramped up its slate of locally-produced projects, having recently announced three new feature films which are going into production this year with Majid Al Ansari, director of ZINZANA, serving as executive producer on all three projects. Al Ansari started his career at Image Nation as an intern and quickly progressed to directing his first feature film last year, for which he was named Variety’s Arab Filmmaker of the Year.
Majid Al Ansari commented: “It’s great to be starting on oursecond regional production in just two months – the UAE film industry is moving at an amazing pace and it’s great to be a part of the action. I’ve always looked up to filmmakers such as Ali and Mohammed and to be working on this film together is a great honour.”
RASHID & RAJAB’s script was written by Dubai’s Mo Youssef and developed by Hollywood’s Caleb Wilson and Matt Allen (Four Christmases) and regional comedians Fahad Al Butairi (FROM A TO B) and Shadi Alfons (SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE CAIRO).
Alfons also stars in one of the lead roles along with Emirati star Marwan Abdullah, supported by Dubai TV presenter Sheema and Fadi Ibrahim (QESSAT HUB).
Shooting begins in Dubai on November 12, with Rami Yasin (THE WORTHY, ZINZANA) supporting Ali and Majid as producer.
RASHID & RAJAB is slated for release in 2017, details will be announced in due course.