Cannes, May 15, 2015: Pioneering Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa (From A To B) is reteaming with Image Nation Abu Dhabi on his next feature, The Worthy, which will go into production later this year.
The From A to B director will be joined by Hollywood veterans Peter Safran (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and Steven Schneider (Paranormal Activity, Insidious) who have come onboard to produce the project with Mostafa’s regional producer Rami Yasin (Sea Shadow, From A to B).
The 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.
Ali Mostafa was joined by producer Rami Yasin and Image Nation’s head of narrative, Ben Ross in Cannes to make the announcement.
Mostafa said: “As the first action/thriller I’m directing, The Worthy is a new adventure for me. My producers, Peter and Steven, have produced some of the best genre movies ever made with critical and commercial hits such as The Conjuring and Paranormal Activity. They are really at the top of their game right now and their expertise will be invaluable on The Worthy so I’m excited to be working with them and with Image Nation again on The Worthy.”
Producer Peter Safan said: “The film industry in Abu Dhabi is at an extremely exciting time in its development, I am looking forward to playing a small part in its growth by working on this fantastic film.”
Steven Schneider said about joining the project as a producer: “Image Nation is a pioneering force in the UAE community and Ali Mostafa is such a unique talent. I think we have an amazing team working on this project and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
The announcement comes on the heels of Mostafa’s last film From A to B, co-produced by twofour54 and Image Nation, topping iTunes charts across the Middle East. The hit comedy drama is set to be released theatrically in the UK and Italy this year.
Mohamed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation, said of the upcoming project: “We’re so happy to be working with Ali Mostafa again on this exciting new genre film. He is a true talent and shares our vision for growing the local and regional film industry.”
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation said: “Image Nation Abu Dhabi is able to create projects like this due to our unique ability to team Hollywood expertise with local talent.”
Image Nation has been ramping up its film and TV production output over the last year and recently wrapped its next feature film from first time feature Emirati director, Majid Al Ansari. Zinzana is set to release in the UAE this fall. The news follows last week’s announcement that The Media Zone Authority is set to focus on new initiatives to further support local and Arab films and filmmakers.
Michael added: “This announcement comes at an exciting time as we prepare to enter a new era of filmmaking in the UAE and the region. To be announcing two huge productions with Emirati directors in such a short period of time is an incredible step and is reflective of how we are continuing to grow rapidly as a local industry.”
Earlier this week, Image Nation announced they will be fully financing James Ponsoldt’s upcoming feature adaptation of Dave Eggers’ contemporary thriller The Circle starring Tom Hanks and Alicia Vikander. The film will be presented by Image Nation in association with Parkes MacDonald Productions. The film is being produced by Hanks and Goetzman for Playtone, Anthony Bregman for Likely Story, and Ponsoldt.
Image Nation’s documentary slate includes the high-profile feature documentary He Named Me Malala, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) and co-produced by Participant Media. Fox Searchlight will open the film in the U.S. on October 2. And directed by award-winning filmmaker Tom Roberts, Every Last Child follows the lives of five people caught up in the current Polio crisis in Pakistan. Zeitgeist Films releases Every Last Child in the U.S. from June 3, and the film recently screened as part of the Special Presentations lineup at the Hot Docs international documentary festival in Canada.