VARIETY eSHOW DAILY: Empire Will Release ‘From A to B’ in the Middle East
Empire has a close rapport with “A to B” co-financer Image Nation, having successfully released Image Nation-produced chiller “Djinn,” by Tobe Hooper, in 2013.
The Lebanese company sub-distributes for both Sony and Twentieth Century Fox across the Arab world.
Young Emirati director Mostafa has broken new ground with “From A to B,” a pan-Arab road movie in which three Western-educated youths from different Arab countries travel 1,500 miles from Abu Dhabi to Beirut, amid the region’s turbulence, in memory of their deceased best friend.
Mostafa spoke to Variety‘s Nick Vivarelli about the challenges of getting the tone right.
Q: You’ve taken a typical Hollywood genre, the road movie, and transposed it to an Arab setting. Was that difficult?
A: I love road films. I always wanted to make one. So coming up with the journey was the part that I really needed to think about. I thought: what would be something that could be really unique for the Arab world? Instead of having Emiratis as protagonists, I thought: Why don’t I depict Arab nationalities who grew up in Abu Dhabi? Also, they are Western-educated Arabs who went to an American school. I wanted to make something that was very relatable for the Arab world, but at the same time also for the West, who could watch these guys and understand them. In terms of the route itself, Abu Dhabi has become such a modern place, so when they go to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, the change is drastic both geographically and culturally. This makes it interesting. I wanted to end it in Beirut because it’s a place that’s dear to my heart, and also a great party town.
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