MBC group and Image Nation Abu Dhabi announce film and television partnership

April 2017 O3 Productions and Image Nation to co-finance and co-produce feature film adaptation of Ibraheem Abaas novel HWJN

O3 Productions, the production arm of MBC Group, the largest private media company in the Middle East & North Africa region, and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the Middle East, today announced a new strategic partnership for film and television production.

The first project, under this new partnership, is the adaptation of author Ibraheem Abbas’ best-selling novel sci-fi  HWJN into an Arabic-language feature film which will be co-produced and co-financed by both companies. 

03 and Image Nation are also partnering on a television spin-off of the feature  entitled The Delusionists, as well as two further television series, details of which will be announced in due course.

Fadi Ismail, Group Director of 03 Productions said: “As 03, this project is a landmark one for us as we are embarking on an exciting journey into an innovative and fresh genre of Saudi drama based on a best seller novel and its exciting world created by the pioneer work of Yatakhayaloon team. We are happy that we are not alone in such a venture but joined forces with Image Nation working closely with its team to produce what we hope will lead to a higher quality of captivating storytelling and production values in film and TV drama in this project and beyond.”

Ben Ross, Head of narrative film and television at Image Nation, commented: “The new strategic partnership between Image Nation and MBC is a further indication of our shared commitment to producing high-quality Arab language film and television for the Arab world.”

“This move reinforces Image Nation’s position as a valued production partner in the region and adds to our already robust slate of programs across film and television.”

The novel HWJN is a pop culture phenomenon in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab World, having topped bestseller lists across the Gulf by selling over 140,000 legal copies. There have also been over one million illegal downloads, further demonstrating the book that has captured the imagination of the Arab youth across the region.

HWJN tells the story of the friendly, devout Jinn, HWJN, and his friendship with a human Saudi female medical student called Sawsan. As their connection deepens, breaking the barriers and dimensions between the human and Jinn worlds, the scene is set for an epic showdown with the evil Jinn ruler Sanam.

HWJN is a groundbreaking novel in its depiction of the human world through Jinn eyes, while offering a completely fresh, provocative portrayal of life in the region.

Said Ibraheem Abbas, author of HWJN, said: “Four years ago our first novel HWJN was rejected by publishing houses because fantasy and science fiction were alien to Arab audiences. We created our own publishing house and exceeded expectations – the Arab public, especially young people, were eager for fantasy and science fiction and our four novels topped the bestseller lists in the region.

“Our fanbase have always asked to see their beloved characters on screen. HWJN, the genie who has removed the barriers between his world and the human world, will finally meet his audience "Face to Face” and we are looking forward to working with Image Nation, MBC and O3 to create a project that appeals to Arab youth  while reflecting Hollywood quality production values to bring the world of HWJN to the screen.”

The TV spin-off series The Delusionists will also have a unique take on modern Saudi and Arab society.  It continues the story of the friendly Jinn HWJN as he teams up with the character of Eyad. The pair track down and expose the charlatans and fake peddlers of black magic and sorcery in modern day Saudi Arabia which has reached epidemic levels.

We also follow the adventures of the alluring female Jinn Jumara as she deepens her relationship with the human world. There will also be plenty of other surprises in store for HWJN fans.