twofour54 cements its reputation as top film and TV location with back-to-back wins of ‘Studio of the Year’

24 March 2018
twofour54 cements its reputation as top film and TV location with back-to-back wins of ‘Studio of the Year’

Media and entertainment hub twofour54 picked up the prestigious ‘Studio of the Year’ award for the second year in a row – cementing its position as one of the world’s leading film and TV production locations.

Sameer Al Jaberi Production Manager and Hameeda Al Rahbi, Production Coordinator, accepted the award on behalf of twofour54 at the 14th Digital Studio Awards, which are organised by ITP Media Group and recognise individuals and organisations that contribute to the thriving broadcast and production industry in the Middle East.

This success means twofour54 has now won ‘Studio of the Year’ four times, having picked up the accolade last year as well as in 2014 and 2010. The latest award capped an incredible year for twofour54, with highlights including two major productions building sets on the backlot at KIZAD and more than 50 episodes of popular children’s show ‘Iftah Ya Simsim’ being shot at twofour54.

And it comes just weeks after plans were announced to boost film and TV production facilities in Abu Dhabi even further with the development of the 300,000sqm twofour54’s Studio City at Mina Zayed complex. It will feature an outdoor film set, a permanent backlot and studios for productions of all sizes, from small local projects to Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters.

H.E. Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi and twofour54, said: “We are delighted that our world-class facilities and talent have yet again been recognised at the Digital Studio Awards.

“Last year was a remarkable 12 months for twofour54, during which we saw our longest production to date with box office smash ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, as well as many other international and regional studios and production companies choosing Abu Dhabi for their projects.

“twofour54 is becoming one of the hottest locations in the world for filmmakers and we expect its popularity to rise even further when our incredible new Studio City at Mina Zayed complex is completed.

“It is our goal to be the capital of content creation, and this award proves that we are realising that vision.”

‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, which stars Salman Khan and is Bollywood’s second highest domestic box office hit, required the construction of a 20,000sqm set at the backlot in Khalifa Industrial Zone (KIZAD), with more than 150 people helping to build it over 102 days. It was the largest set ever built for a film by the production company, Yash Raj Films. In total, a crew of more than 300 people worked on Tiger’s 65-day shoot, with twofour54 professionals joined by other crew members from India, the UK, and the US.

Alongside the set of ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, the backlot was also home to the 6,500sqm set of ‘Al Asouf’, an Arabic drama from O3 Productions starring Nasser Al Qasabi. The backlot was transformed into a 1970s neighbourhood in Riyadh for the 30-episode series.

Other highlights of 2017 included the return of children’s show ‘Iftah Ya Simsim’, which shot 52 episodes at twofour54, and the first Telgu film to be shot in Abu Dhabi, ‘Duvvada Jagannadham’.

Production companies were attracted by Abu Dhabi’s diverse locations as well as the excellent infrastructure and supportive environment, including help with logistics by twofour54’s Government and Travel Services team, unrivalled access to military hardware and a large selection of local crew from twofour54’s freelancer pool. Another key incentive was the 30% rebate on production spend from Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC). Now more than 55 productions have taken up the rebate since it was introduced in 2013.

In fact, twofour54 has been so successful that the media zone has announced plans to move to a new, larger, state-of-the-art home on Yas Island from 2020. This will be complemented by twofour54’s Studio City at Mina Zayed.

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