28 September 2019: The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates screened exclusive excerpts from its upcoming landmark documentary series History of the Emirates on 24 September at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington DC, in association with Image Nation Abu Dhabi and producer Atlantic Productions.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, commentator on Arab affairs, and featuring Hana Makki, Head of Documentary at Image Nation Abu Dhabi; Peter Magee, Head of Archaeology at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi; and Director of the Department of Excavation and Archeological Sites at Sharjah Archeology Authority, Eissa Yousef.
The three-part international series, narrated by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons and produced by BAFTA-winning Atlantic Productions, uses state-of-the-art CGI technology, 360-degree camerawork and incredible archaeological footage to depict the ancient history and the rich heritage of the UAE over 125,000 years, culminating with the formation of the union in 1971.
In her welcome remarks, Dana Al Marashi, Head of Cultural Diplomacy at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, DC, said, “History of the Emirates is a very special production which highlights the extraordinary journey our people have made. Our story spans thousands of years, from humble beginnings, to the union of seven emirates just under 50 years ago, to the ultra-modern nation we are today, leading the way in education, culture and innovation, including our own endeavors into space.”
Eissa Yousef, Director of the Department of Excavation and Archeological Sites at Sharjah Archeology Authority, said: “This documentary is an important milestone for the UAE, and brings our remarkable and diverse past to life through archaeological discoveries from some of the region’s most historic sites. Showing the series globally will introduce viewers to the story of unseen civilizations in never-before-seen detail, and will help us share the UAE’s message of tolerance with the world.”
The event was attended by leaders, archeologists and professionals from National Geographic, Meridian International Center, United States Department of State, Smithsonian Institute, Georgetown University and several other education, government and business organizations.
The three-part international cut will air globally on National Geographic this year. A five-hour local documentary series, also presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi and produced by Atlantic Productions, will screen weekly across UAE and regional TV channels this autumn.
About Image Nation Abu Dhabi
Image Nation Abu Dhabi is an award-winning film and entertainment company which has built its reputation on breaking boundaries and unleashing imagination. It creates films, TV series, documentaries and entertainment for consumers throughout the world and is the first UAE company to have multiple productions stream globally on Netflix. Its success spans the globe – screening content at over 400 international film festivals and receiving the industry’s highest honors, including two Academy Awards, a BAFTA and an Emmy.
Image Nation has a strong track record of producing high-quality productions through a combination of local talent and international expertise. The company encourages original thought and curiosity while providing a platform for inspiration and practical training through its robust development program, Arab Film Studio.
Its mission is to help build the film and entertainment industry across the GCC and MENA – a pioneering ambition in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision to shape a competitive, sustainable and globally open economy. Image Nation enables all those who engage with it to become guardians of culture and ambassadors of change.
About Atlantic Productions
Atlantic is one of the world’s leading documentary production companies and has won multiple BAFTA and Emmy awards. In 27 years, it has built a reputation for world-class storytelling, enhanced by the latest technology.
Atlantic’s diverse output includes 11 projects with David Attenborough including BAFTA award-winning Flying Monsters (Sky), Museum Alive (Sky) and The Great Barrier Reef (BBC); Inside the Commons (BBC), Time Scanners (NatGeo), Mission Galapagos (BBC), Jerusalem, City of Heaven (Discovery) and the acclaimed theatrical film The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed The Coronation (BBC/Smithsonian/ABC), made with HRH Queen Elizabeth, the five part series Deep Planet (Discovery) and Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo Adventure (ITV). Atlantic won the first-ever BAFTA award for virtual reality with David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive. Atlantic Productions produced the History of the Emirates series.