Image Nation Abu Dhabi will begin filming a new Arabic-language television series in the UAE later this year.
Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Image Nation, said: “This is a landmark programme for Image Nation and the region. In producing this high-calibre series we are doing what Abu Dhabi does best – combining the best of international expertise and local talent to reach new heights. We are creating compelling entertainment at a Hollywood standard, while reflecting the experiences and locations of the Middle East.”
The new series, yet to be named, follows the ups and downs of a passionate young Emirati lawyer and her father, one of the region’s top attorneys, as they deal with challenging legal cases while navigating personal and family dramas. The first season of the series will feature 20 one-hour episodes.
The legal drama is co-produced by the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, who collaborated on the storylines and details to ensure authenticity.
Al Mubarak added: “We are pleased to be working with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. They have helped to give the series a remarkable edge, providing access to a host of cases that will surprise and delight audiences in the same gripping way the most successful international series do. The remarkable range of stories help us grab the attention and interest of audiences across the region and around the world.”
Dr. Salah Al Junaibi, Director of Corporate Communication and International Cooperation at the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi, said: “The participation of the Judicial Department in the production of this huge dramatic series came from the directives of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department. The directive was established to find innovative ways to deliver information and awareness to all segments of society, regardless their age, cultural and social levels, about the UAE’s legal culture.
“The department’s main aim is to spread a culture of respect for the law through the daily behaviour of members of the community. Through partnerships like this with Image Nation, we are hoping to teach our rules and regulations through a simple method that will reach all walks of life in the UAE and contribute to the effective consolidation of social security and economic stability in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.”
Dr. Al Junaibi added that the Judicial Department has adopted several initiatives like this new television series including the production of informative video clips about legal issues and an animated cartoon series and magazine aimed at educating children about the law.
Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, remarked: “The series is best described as L.A. Law meets Dallas in Abu Dhabi, which captures both the scale and calibre we are aiming for in this series. We’ve assembled a team of unparalleled international and local talent that will help us create a show like none other ever produced in the Middle East.”
“At this stage, we know what we have on the page. If we are successful in putting it on the screen, we will have produced a series that will be viewed around the world. We’re encouraged that several US major studios and distributors have already expressed interest in the series and are eagerly waiting to see to early episodes.”
MENA-based Beelink Productions is the series’ UAE production partner. One of the leading production companies in the MENA region, programmes from Beelink Productions are featured on over 30 Arabic channels.
Beelink Productions has produced a range of critically acclaimed shows over the past few years, which include:Al Kabous (The Nightmare); Al Sayidah Al Oula (The First Lady) starring the award-winning Egyptian actress, Ghada Abdulrazek; as well as the series Tariqi (My Way) which introduced viewers to Egyptian singer Shireen Abdul Wahab in her debut TV role. The series aired during Ramadan 2015 to an unprecedented number of viewers and exceptional critical acclaim all over the Arab world.
Beelink’s General Director Safa Aburizik said of their involvement: “We strongly believe in developing Arab talent and offering audiences quality Arabic-language content. We are excited to work with Image Nation to produce what we truly believe will be a ground-breaking programme for the local industry.”
Image Nation and Beelink have secured up-and-coming filmmaker Ahmed Khaled Mousa to direct. The talented Egyptian director Ahmed Khaled Mousa is best known for the recent hit Ba’ad El Bidaya (After the beginning), starring Tarek Lotfy and Farouk Al-Fishawy, and the popular investigation drama Man Al Jani (Who’s The Murderer) which aired on Abu Dhabi TV.
The series was developed and written by Billy Finkelstein, a veteran American screenwriter and television producer best known for his work on NYPD Blue and LA Law – for which he won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series. Finkelstein has been nominated for five Emmys in the course of his outstanding career, which included work on popular shows like Law and Order, and Brooklyn South.
Finkelstein said of his work on the program: “Developing this series has been an incredible experience. My hope is that audiences in the region will recognize and connect with our characters. While I come from halfway around the world, the stories we tell, the stories that stay with us – whether in Hollywood or the Gulf, in English or in Arabic – are the same stories. If we’ve told them well, we think we have a show that’ll be around for a while.”
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