Arab thriller Djinn starts filming in the UAE

Principle photography for Imagenation Abu Dhabi’s second local production, the supernatural horror thriller Djinn, begun in the UAE last week, complete with a cast of fresh faces, Emirati talent and international and Arab actors.

Directed by horror genre master, Tobe Hooper and written by US writer David Tully, Djinn tells the nightmarish story of a young Emirati couple who return home from the US and discover that their new apartment in a luxury high-rise built on the site of an abandoned fishing village is also home to the malevolent beings known as djinn.

Shooting will take place at various locations in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai over the coming month.

International talent, Khaled Laith (Khaled) and up-and-coming Arab actress Razane Jammal (Salama) have been announced in the leading roles, alongside an outstanding cast from across the UAE, wider Arab region and Europe.

Supporting roles include Aiysha Hart (Sarah), Carole Abboud (Zaynab), Paul Luebke (Bobby) and May El Calamawy (Aisha). Emirati actors Ahmed Abdullah (Saeed) and ‘City of Life’ star Saood Al Kaabi (Mubarak) will also appear in the thriller alongside local acting veteran, Abdullah Al Junaibi (Nasser).

Many of the new local talent featuring in the film were discovered via the www.emiratifilmstar.com portal, which Imagenation Abu Dhabi launched last year to uncover the region’s untapped acting talent.

Mohammed Al Mubarak, Chairman of Imagenation Abu Dhabi, said: “Imagenation Abu Dhabi is fully committed to developing a world-class film industry in the UAE, and it is with great pride that we begin principle photography on our second local project here in the Emirates. Through the production of quality Arab movies such as Djinn, we will continue to contribute the expertise and infrastructure needed to lay the foundations for a flourishing Arabic film sector.”

Michael Garin, CEO of Imagenation Abu Dhabi, continued: “Our cast and crew for the production of Djinn is comprised of top talent from the global industry teamed with a wealth of outstanding local talent, who together are working to create something truly spectacular.  With this unique pool of knowledge and skills, Djinn is certain to set new benchmarks for the Horror genre in this region.”

Djinn was announced during the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, and is produced by Daniela Tully and Tim Smythe, with Filmworks, Jaye Gazeley and Robert Crippen co-producing.  Emmy nominated Joel Ransom (Steven Spielberg’s “Taken”, “Band of Brothers”, “The X-Files”) is the director of photography.

Emirati dialogue coach, Nada Shouma, is also consulting on the project. Shouma trained on Imagenation’s first local production, Sea Shadow, and has now established herself as a leading dialogue coach in the UAE. Rising Emirati writer and director Mohammed Al-Otaiba will also be shadowing Tobe Hooper on the set of Djinn, in order to gain valuable industry experience.

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