DUBAI // Emirati director Majid Al Ansari has signed up with leading Hollywood agents United Talent Agency ahead of the premiere of his new movie, Zinzana (Rattle the Cage).
IM Global has also picked up international sales rights for the film, which makes its debut at Fantastic Fest tomorrow in Austin, Texas.
The movie stars household name Ali Suleiman, star of Homeland and Lone Survivor, and tells the tale of a man who is locked up in a remote prison cell while life takes unexpected turns around him.
It is Al Ansari’s feature film debut after a long and successful incubation period working for producers Image Nation.
“UTA would never have pick-ed up Majid without having first seen the film, and it’s great news for Majid’s career and for the local industry,” said Image Nation chief executive Michael Garin.
“It’s a validation of the movie and of Majid’s talent that he’s been picked up by a global name such as UTA. I would honestly say this is a really big deal.”
Zinzana has also been selected to appear at the London Film Festival in October. Cinetic Media will handle sales in the US.
The involvement of big industry names such as UTA and Cinetic seems to suggest that the UAE’s nascent film industry is in the process of turning a major corner.
And in a busy month for Image Nation, the much-anticipated documentary He Named me Malala, directed by Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim, is set for an October 2 US cinema release by Fox Searchlight pictures, who acquired the rights this year.
Fox’s own Middle East channels are advertising the film for a November 5 release regionally.