US rapper Kanye West is reportedly scouting the UAE and Qatar for film locations for a new project set to begin production in March, the Hollywood Reporter said.
The award-winning artist, who performed in Abu Dhabi in 2010, is said to have sent his team over to discuss financing opportunities with state and private investors for the 30-minute film.
“[His team members] did a full round of meetings, speaking with various government agencies, institutions and private investors,” an insider told the showbiz weekly. “They toured each area and met with all the major players.”
The film project is said to be a combination of music video and short film, the source said.
“He conceived the story, which is set in the Gulf. It’s supposed to showcase the beauty of the region, a piece that’s culturally sensitive and embraces the customs and traditions of the region.”
West rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he became known for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as on singles by artists such as Alicia Keys and Ludacris.
His debut album College Dropout was released in 2004, and West has since released four solo albums and one collaborative album with Jay –Z to critical acclaim.
West has racked up more than 25 million digital sales in the US alone during his career, making him one of the country’s top-selling solo male artists.
Dubai, the GCC’s trade and tourism hub, made its debut on the big screen last year as the backdrop for Tom Cruise’s latest film Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
The Top Gun actor, who also produced the action flick, said he expected Dubai to become a sought-after film location and said several Hollywood contacts had expressed interest in the city.
“Absolutely [it will attract more movies],” he said at a press conference held on the 124 floor of the Burj Khalifa.
“I know already people have said they want to come here and shoot or make a film.
“I’ve always wanted to shoot here, back from when I was watching the city being built. Many people have asked us about travelling here and what it was like. People are very interested to come here and shoot.”