Amritraj inks $250 mn deal with Abu Dhabi Media Company


Mumbai: Imagenation Abu Dhabi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company, is partnering with Hollywood-based Hyde Park Entertainment in a $250 million financing deal to develop, produce and distribute feature films. The agreement aims to create up to 20 films over seven years and will include additional financing for the production of local language and cross-cultural films.

Hyde Park Entertainment will also establish its regional headquarters at Two Four 54, the recently unveiled free media zone in Abu Dhabi.

Hyde Park Entertainment chairman and CEO and producer of features including Bringing Down the House, Raising Helen and Walking Tall Ashok Amritraj said: "We intend to produce wonderful films that stretch from Hollywood to Asia, enabling us to foster a better understanding between the West, the Middle East and Asia. What better way to accomplish this than through global cinema and the exchange of talent and great stories."

Imagenation Abu Dhabi chairman Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei said: "Abu Dhabi’s investment with international media partners is putting the Emirate in the global spotlight at a critical time for the movie industry. Through partnerships like this one with Hyde Park, we can create feature films which open a window on Middle Eastern and Asian culture, enabling audiences around the world to look in and appreciate the region’s rich and increasingly dynamic heritage."

Imagenation Abu Dhabi CEO Edward Borgerding said: "Hyde Park Entertainment brings us not only creative and commercial prowess but also distribution strength, so we’re pleased with this latest partnership that will focus on both western and Asian themes. We are also delighted that Hyde Park Entertainment will set up a local office here in Abu Dhabi, which will reinforce the region’s credentials as an emerging centre for content creation and professional development."

In addition to its Two Four 54 headquarters, Hyde Park’s LA base will provide a front office function. Hyde Park executive vice president Patrick Aiello will supervise creative affairs for the partnership, while Hyde Park International president Mimi Steinbauer, will handle foreign sales for pictures produced by the company. Imagenation Abu Dhabi CFO Stefan Brunner will oversee the financial aspects of the joint venture.