twofour54, the commercial arm of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, today announced that Star Wars: Episode VII, is filming in the Emirate. Abu Dhabi is the first location for the seventh installment of the global movie phenomenon, which is due to premiere in December 2015.
Director J.J. Abrams and cast flew to Abu Dhabi in early May, with the support of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and twofour54 intaj. Hundreds of local and international cast and crew are currently working on the production in Abu Dhabi with key production staff working closely with twofour54 intaj since January.
The combination of diverse desert landscapes and an extensive production infrastructure provide the perfect formula for the movie ensuring the shoot is going smoothly and on schedule.
Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm said: “We were very excited to start the filming of Star Wars: Episode VII in Abu Dhabi – it has been an incredible place to commence this journey.”
“We are delighted that Abu Dhabi has attracted another major international production and are thrilled to have welcomed the Star Wars team. Having Star Wars: Episode VII film in the Emirate shows Abu Dhabi is emerging as the region’s leading media and entertainment hub,” commented Noura Al Kaabi, CEO for twofour54.
Six talented UAE nationals had the opportunity to work on set, through twofour54’s creative lab community internship programme. Two of the interns will be given the opportunity to follow the production to London's Pinewood Studios and thereby expanding their international production experience.
“twofour54’s vision is to enable the development of world class Arabic media and entertainment content. By exposing our local young talent to international productions and prominent directors, we look forward to developing their skills, and developing our next big director,” concluded Al Kaabi.
twofour54 and the Abu Dhabi Film Commission in the last 12 months, have attracted international productions including the paranormal thriller Deliver us from Evil from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures’ Fast & Furious 7 and Bollywood feature film Bang Bang from Fox Star Studios.
Due to be released in December next year, Star Wars: Episode VII is the latest international movie to film in Abu Dhabi, and to benefit from the support the Abu Dhabi Film Commission including the 30% production rebate.
photo credit: @bad_robot