Freej creator Mohammad Saeed Harib is to direct a sports comedy set in partnership with Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the filmmaker announced in a press conference at the Dubai International Film Festival on Thursday.
The Emirati direcor, known for his popular 3D animated series will his debut as a feature-length film director when he starts filming the untitled project in the UAE next spring,
“I have been into animation but the idea of directing a sports comedy intrigued me, said Harib. “I hope everybody starts playing soccer after watching it.”
Set in Abu Dhabi, the comedy with English subtitles will chart the journey of a fallen football star seeking redemption by coaching a rag-tag team of high school students at a public school.
“Through this film we want to show that fitness can be fun. We are using humour to send the message of eating healthy and remaining fit,” said Mohammad Al Otaiba, head of Image Nation. The casting call will be begin early next year and the film is scheduled for release at the end of 2013.
“The idea is to involve as many local talents in our production. We want the story to be intrinsic to our local market,” added Al Otaiba.
Harib, who was earlier in the news for directing a chapter in the upcoming Hollywood 3D animation film The Prophet, co-produced by Salma Hayek, did not rule out cameos from famous soccer stars in his debut feature.
“That’s a small part. This is my full-length feature project. Right now we are concentrating on the script. But it’s not a bad idea. Having a cameo from a soccer star will be an icing on the cake.”