There was good news for Emirati cinema at the weekend as distributor Empire International announced it would be supporting Hajwala 2, the sequel to 2016's Hajwala: The Missing Engine, which took more than $1M (4M Dh) at the regional box office on release.
The sequel is set to be co-funded by Empire and the recently launched, Abu Dhabi-based production house Dhabi films, and is set to hit cinemas in 2018.
Ibrahim Bin Mohammed will return to the director’s chair for the high-octane, street-car racing thriller, with Emirati actors Hussain Al Hosani and Ali Abdulla Al Marzooqi set to star. The movie will also utilise the talents of renowned ‘drifters’ including Saudi YouTube star Abdulla Al Youssif. Plot details are sparse at present, but we’re told that audiences can expect to see an adventure which will force the street car racing and drifting communities to come together on an as-yet-unspecified mission.
Director Bin Mohamed told us: “The community of cars and drifting with their secrets inspired us to make good stories and local content for cinema. We are looking at supporting the entertaining content through developed movies that can attract all audiences.”
Empire International is a stalwart of the local movie scene, having recently distributed films including Blade Runner 2049 in the region. Empire CEO Mario Jr Haddad commented: "We strongly believe in the potential of Emirati films. Following the incredible success of the first Hajwala, we are very excited to be taking part in this wonderful project and we are confident that the sequel will appeal to regular moviegoers and car enthusiasts alike."