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Film producers set their production budget at EUR100m for new epic about the birth of Islam

United Arab Emirates: Monday, November 03 - 2008 @ 14:16

Production of the film, which will reach a global audience of both Muslims and non-Muslims, is expected to start in early 2009. The producers will commence an investment road show throughout the GCC region shortly.

The Messenger of Peace will be only the second movie of its kind on the subject of Islam, whereas over 30 major films have been made about the early history of Christianity. Films based on religious subjects have been largely successful in the history of film.

The Message is still much in demand today after more than 30 years since its release, while Mel Gibson’s 2004 film Passion of the Christ has been hugely successful. In addition to global distribution channels which cover the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and Middle East markets, the producers intend to reach out to people through merchandising channels to help alleviate many misgivings about Islam and to make the venture commercially very successful. The film’s investment vehicle will have full control over all revenues.

The producers have also appointed Dar Al Sharia Legal and Financial Consultancy LLC, the specialist Sharia consulting arm of Dubai Islamic Bank(the world’s first Islamic bank) to ensure that the film is in keeping with the religion of Islam and portrays the early history of the religion with utmost authenticity and credibility. The renowned Sharia scholar Dr Hussain Hamed Hussan, Director of Dar Al Sharia, will act as lead Sharia supervisor and along with the other Sharia scholars, will be closely involved in the development of the script for the film and its correct implementation.

Executive Producer, Hajja Subhia Abu Elheja, who is also a major investor in the film said:

“This project will bring good to the world and is also a fantastic investment opportunity which will bring Sharia-compliant attractive returns.”

Oscar Zoghbi, Producer said:

“We are looking at selecting a limited number of best of breed potential co-investors who believe in the noble objectives of the film besides our investment case. The core objective is to not only tap into a market of 1.5 billion Muslims eager to experience a powerful and successful film conveying the true values of their religion but also a global market of non-Muslims. As only the second major film in history to be made on the subject, we believe the film to reach a truly global audience. We intend to make Messenger of Peace as successful as Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ and believe there is huge global interest in our subject to make this happen.”

Sohail Zubairi, CEO, Dar Al Sharia said, “As an industry authority on Sharia best practices, we are honoured to have been appointed to supervise the production team in making a new feature film about Islam and congratulate the producers for this bold step. There is no time like the present to enhance awareness of this great faith and our experts at Dar Al Sharia, headed by Dr. Hussain will serve to ensure accuracy, credibility and religious correctness at every level.”

Sohail quoted Dr. Hussain as saying that Islam was revealed by God almighty as mercy for humanity, to establish peace and brotherhood and to equally protect social, political and economic rights for Muslims and Non-Muslims and he hopes the film will be able to successfully highlight these dignified aspects of Islam.

Keba Keinde, CEO Millennium Finance Corporation said,“Millennium Finance Corporation enjoys a unique combination of industry knowledge, reach and transaction expertise and is pleased to assist in bringing together some of the highest quality investors with the promoters of this unique project combining cultural and financial features for the development of its core region, MENASA. We are very proud to be associated with the making of this epic film about Islam.”

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Monday, November 3- 2008 @ 14:16 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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