View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get Your Film Produced in Abu Dhabi

It’s hard to keep up with the Abu Dhabi billionaires.

One day they are spending millions of dollars buying a Football Club, the next day they are snaffling a Brazilian footy player for their team for another pile of million dollar notes and less than a day later they are doing deals with international film companies.

What a frenetic spending spree and this is only the first week of Ramadan, the holy month when Muslim businessmen should be slowing down and turning their minds away from footy and films. But maybe Ramadan has been the key to the timing of these deals. Go without food, drink and sex, think about Allah, and the inspiration fires up.

The Abu Dhabi Media Co., a government-owned media arm, has revealed plans to spend more than $1 billion making feature films over the next five years.

The subsidiary, called Imagenation Abu Dhabi, will work with Hollywood on international projects and invest in regional talent to create Arabic- and mixed-language content with crossover appeal.

If you have a film to shoot get in fast with your idea while the sheikhs are splashing their dirhams all over the world. Adapting the words of Ray Nagin, Mayor of New Orleans, “I am telling you to get your butt over here to the Emirates right now.”

You’ll have to eliminate any critical talk of government leaders, tone down your romantic scenes, omit excessive touching and certainly not have a plot like Brokeback Mountain.

But what small compromises to make if you can get the Abu Dhabi oil barons to bankroll your new trilogy.

Looking for an agent?

Dr Geoff Pound