UAE media group forays into global movie making

September 3rd, 2008 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 3 (IANS) The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) largest media group Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) launched Wednesday a new company that will develop, finance and produce feature films across the world.Imagenation Abu Dhabi, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADMC, intends to spend in excess of $1 billion over the course of the next five years in the creation of both full length feature films and digital content, an ADMC statement said.

“Abu Dhabi has established itself as a major player in the global economy, as evidenced through recent activity in the energy, real estate and transportation sectors,” Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei, chairman of both imagenation abu dhabi and ADMC, said in the statement.

“Media is no different and Abu Dhabi Media Company is fulfilling its ambition to become a global player in the media industry,” he added.

From its base in Abu Dhabi, imagenation abu dhabi will enter into partnerships with high-profile US-based and other international producers to develop and produce content for distribution throughout the world.

The company’s remit also extends to supporting Middle East filmmakers and Arabian film production.

ADMC said the launch of the new company is part of its strategy to become a worldwide leader in the production of content.

“With imagenation abu dhabi, we are bringing Hollywood and the international production community to Arabia,” Edward Borgerding, chief executive of imagenation abu dhabi and ADMC said.

“Our aim is to make award-winning films which are commercially successful and appeal to audiences across the world,” Borgerding, a former Walt Disney executive, said.

He added that the new company’s target output would be eight films a year and this, he said, “will make imagenation abu dhabi one of the world’s top producers of feature films and establish Abu Dhabi as a leading centre for content creation”.

“Our investment strategy is modelled on film financing vehicles used successfully in Los Angeles, New York and London,” Stefan Brunner, chief financial officer of imagenation abu dhabi, explained.

ADMC is a vertically integrated media company created in 2007 as a public joint stock company from the assets of Emirates Media Incorporated.

It employs 1,800 people across its operating units, which include publishing, television, radio, digital media, distribution, and printing.

The company is headquartered in Abu Dhabi with offices in Cairo, Dubai and Washington DC.

The ADMC announcement comes close on the heels of Abu Dhabi United Group for Development and Investment’s $357-million takeover of the English football club Manchester City.

Abu Dhabi’s state investment funds also hold stakes in Ferrari, GE, Carlyle and Citigroup.

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