Indian filmmaker Priyadarshan is gearing up to shoot Malayalam-language project Athar And Madhavan Naayar in Abu Dhabi, with logistical support from Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC).

The project marks the first time a Malayalam-language production has shot entirely in Abu Dhabi. Malayalam is the language of the southern Indian state of Kerala. Local Keralan stars Mohanlal and Karthika Menon head the cast.

ADFC is providing all the filming permits and locations support for the 60-strong production team, and facilitating negotiations between Abu Dhabi government agencies and the police for filming in different locations in Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and the Western Region.

ADFC and the production company Media 7 are also working together to offer UAE-based filmmakers and students the opportunity to work as interns on the production.

“We are pleased to have this high-profile Indian movie in Abu Dhabi and welcome the opportunity offered by the production team to host trainees and interns on the set,” said ADFC director David Shepheard.

Priyadarshan added: “I wanted to shoot somewhere with a lot of desert, and Abu Dhabi was the perfect fit. The city is a friendly place to shoot with wide fields of desert and greenery. Crucially, there is a huge population and audience from Southern India in the GCC that can relate to the film and its scenes and therefore it made more sense to shoot such a film here, rather than in Europe or Australia.”