Image Nation Abu Dhabi will mark the UAE’s 49th National Day on 2 December by releasing locally-created documentaries and short films that celebrate the UAE’s heritage and communities on Etisalat e-life and National Geographic Abu Dhabi, while Emirati body-swap comedy film Rashid & Rajab is now available globally on Netflix for the first time.
Etisalat e-life’s dedicated National Day on-demand channel will be showing a range of Image Nation productions, including inspirational documentaries History of the Emirates, Botoula, Lest We Forget and Back to the Wild, as well as a diverse series of short films created by participants in Image Nation’s flagship professional development program Arab Film Studio.
National Geographic will also show History of the Emirates and Back to the Wild on 2 December as part of its National Day special programming.
Rashid & Rajab, the first live-action feature film from Emirati director Mohammad Saeed Harib, recently launched worldwide on Netflix. The comedy caper follows wealthy Emirati executive Rashid (Marwan Abdullah Saleh) and carefree Egyptian fast-food deliveryman Rajab (Shadi Alfons), who switch bodies – and lives – after a freak accident. The two men search for a way to return to their former selves in a humorous story that includes slapstick antics as well as a touching emotional journey.
Rashid & Rajab is Image Nation’s fourth locally-produced project available on Netflix, alongside Emirati legal drama series Justice, psychological thriller Zinzana and dystopian film The Worthy.
Hana Kazim, Manager of Local Film & Television at Image Nation Abu Dhabi, said: “National Day is a moment to collectively celebrate the UAE’s rich history, culture and community. This selection of incredible content, locally produced by Image Nation, really reflects the diversity and character of life in our country with stories that span from ancient civilizations to the contemporary sport of Jiu-Jitsu, and from living heritage traditions like henna to ambitious efforts to preserve the world’s wildlife.”
She added, “Developed by a talented Emirati team, Rashid & Rajab tells a distinctively UAE story that could only have been created and set here, while at the same time, the quality of storytelling speaks to universal themes that appeal to audiences across borders. This moment of national celebration is therefore a particularly fitting time for it to be shown to global audiences on streaming giant Netflix.”
Image Nation productions available on Etisalat e-life’s National Day channel include:
- History of the Emirates, a landmark 5-episode documentary which spans 125,000 years of local history, from the earliest human presence in the region to the national union in 1971.
- Botoula, an 80-minute documentary that follows the inspiring story of young Emirati women aiming to compete in the World Pro Jiu-Jitsu competition.
- Back to the Wild, a 30-minute documentary telling the story of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s successful reintroduction of the Scimitar-horned Oryx, which had been declared extinct in the wild, to a nature reserve in Chad.
- Short film series Lest We Forget, which explores aspects of the UAE’s tangible and intangible cultural heritage, such as pearl fishing, henna and ceremonial daggers, through personal stories and family memories.
- Beyond Borders, a reality show sending six young Emiratis on an adventure to discover different walks of life in the Philippines.
- Forthcoming, Nayhoda, Rattled, The Last Interview and Parrot – short films created during the Arab Film Studio Narrative program.
- Juma and Hakim, Made of Clay and Osha’s Gift – short films created during the Arab Film Studio Documentary program.