Abu Dhabi headed for further Oscars glory?

Denzel Washington receives Best Actor nod for Image Nation Abu Dhabi co-production

An Abu Dhabi producer is behind an Oscar nominated film again.

In 2011, Image Nation Abu Dhabi had its first taste of Oscars glory when its co-production The Help gained multiple nominations and eventually a Best Supporting Actress win for Octavia Spencer.

And this year, Roman J Israel, Esq. (which Image Nation Abu Dhabi co-produced) is up for an Oscar in the form of Best Actor for Denzel Washington.

Image Nation Abu Dhabi is the company behind local favourites such as 2014's Ali F Mostafa road movie From A to B and Majid Al Ansari's 2015 psychological drama Zinzana, as well as global hits such as 2011's viral thriller Contagion, and last year's less well-known Killing Hasselhoff.

Roman J Israel, Esq. is the first film co-produced under Image Nation's Culture China partnership (which sees the UAE company work with a Chinese investment fund). This is the ninth Oscar nomination for Washington, who has previously picked up statues for Best Supporting Actor in 1990's Glory and Best Actor for 2002's Training Day.

The movie stars Washington as an idealistic defence attorney (Roman J. Israel) whose life is upended after his mentor, a civil rights icon, dies. When Israel is recruited to join a firm led by Colin Farrell’s ambitious lawyer George Pierce, he also begins a friendship with a young champion of equal rights (Carmen Ejogo). A turbulent series of events ensue that put the activism that has defined Israel's career to the test.

It is directed by Dan Gilroy of Nightcrawler fame.

Image Nation chief Michael Garin commented on the Academy recognition: "We are delighted that Denzel Washington's outstanding performance in Roman J. Israel, Esq has garnered an Oscar nomination. For Image Nation, our international film production investments are strategically made to ensure we can continue to invest in, nurture and produce local productions with local Arab talent, and this level of recognition for one of our international investments really helps to showcase the calibre of productions Image Nation is involved with at a global level."


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