EXCLUSIVE: Egyptian comedian Shadi Alfons will join Saudi stand-up comic Fahad Albutairi in the cast of Emirati filmmaker Ali F Mostafa’s road film A To B, which starts shooting in February.

Alfons is best known for Egyptian comic Bassem Youssef’s satirical TV show The Program (El Bernameg), while Albutairi has become a huge star through a show on Youtube, Le Yekthar, which draws in millions of viewers.

A To B follows three friends on a road trip from Abu Dhabi to Beirut in memory of their long-lost friend. Born and raised in Abu Dhabi; the protagonists are of Saudi, Egyptian and Syrian origin. The third lead role in the film is currently being cast.

The film is the first major pan-Arab co-production – bringing together talent and producers from around the region. Mostafa’s AFM Films is producing with Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, Lebanese producer Paul Baboudjian and Saudi producer Mohammed Al Turki. Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 is backing the film.

“This is the first film to include so many different nationalities from the Middle East region in the cast and crew. It will open endless opportunities for co-production within the Arab world,” said Mostafa.

“It is a comedy but there is an important message behind it,” said Mohamed Al Turki who makes his foray into producing Emirati films with A To B.

Currently in pre-production, A To B will start shooting in February 2014 in Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia and either Jordan or Lebanon.

Mostofa previously directed the 2009 drama City Of Life which won him the Best Emirati Filmmaker award at DIFF that year.