Image Nation: Outstanding Contribution to Regional Media UAE 2020

Image Nation Abu Dhabi

Watch out, Hollywood: the Abu Dhabi media and entertinament industry is on the rise. Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the award winning film and television studio continues to lead Abu Dhabi’s move from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy, with media and entertainment being a major focus of the future ecosystem. Image Nation was launched in 2008, and its productions have been circulating the globe ever since. It has premiered content at over 450 film festivals worldwide and claimed some of the industry’s highest accolades, including two Academy Awards, a BAFTA and an Emmy. The company creates barrier-breaking, cross-cultural content and was the first company in the UAE to feature productions on global streaming service Netflix. Image Nation has helped to solidify Abu Dhabi’s status as a regional creative hub for content and is preparing the next generation of storytellers to carry the torch. The company established the AFS (Arab Film Studio) to guide and mentor young enthusiasts, offering workshops, educational programmes and internships to gain hands-on experience and build a professional portfolio of work samples. Image Nation benefits from a diverse team of dedicated personnel with good gender balance. It creates world-class films, TV series and documentaries, as well as multi-media campaigns for commercial and government entities. In collaboration with efforts from across Abu Dhabi, Image Nation was a major component in keeping over $100m of productions continuing in the UAE throughout the pandemic — making the UAE one of a handful of countries in the world able to keep productions going throughout lockdown. This included an international feature film and the region’s first Arab soap opera. It released two local feature films in 2020. Bloodline, the region’s first Arabic-language vampire thriller, is currently streaming on MBC’s leading platform Shahid, while the international film festival favourite Scales, which won the Club Verona award for most innovative film at Venice international Film festival, was released in Saudi Arabian cinemas in November 2020. Image Nation has announced new productions to include the first Emirati feature length animation, Catsaway, as well as an animated children’s TV series based around the regional fruit dates. The CFI.co judging panel recognises Image Nation as a repeat winner in the awards programme, this time taking the 2020 laurels for Outstanding Contribution to Regional Media (UAE).