SUNDANCE: Kuwaiti industrialist Nawaf Alghanim announced in Park City on Friday (January 23) the formation of his Los Angeles and Kuwaiti-based financing and production company.
The Alghanim family, which owns international conglomerates and has ties to the majority of theatres in Kuwait, will back the new entity, set up to make two to four films a year budgeted up to $15m.
Alghanim (pictured, at top left) will serve as CEO and is joined by industry veterans and partners Andrea Chung, Krystal Tiffany Vayda and Brandon M Vayda.
Al-Ghanim Entertainment kicks off with The Girl In The Photographs from Wes Craven protégé Nick Simon. Alghanim will fully finance and produce and the project will shoot in British Columbia.
The Girl In The Photographs will be in a similar vein to Craven’s iconic Scream films and is set against the glamorous backdrop of the fashion world.
Craven serves as executive producer alongside the Vaydas and Alghanim. Thomas Mahoney produces with Chung.
“With the inception of this company, we wanted to build a bridge between East and West that not only nurtures talent and fosters the creative vision, but creates content that inspires as well as entertains global audiences,” said Alghanim.
“We will remain grounded with our projects, yet will always be open to explore the dynamic new media landscape that is forming in the marketplace in various parts of the world.”
Alghanim is a member of the Al-Ghanim founding family of Kuwait and most recently served as a civil engineer for Gulf Consult in his home country.
After Kuwait gained independence in 1961 Alghanim’s grandfather Abdulatif Alghanim was chosen to lead the committee that wrote the constitution and formed the first electoral parliament for an Arab country in the Middle East.
Chung and the Vaydas will work out of their Los Angeles offices.
Chung (pictured, at bottom right) produced Sundance Premieres selection Seoul Searching that gets its P+I screening on January 23 ahead of the public world premiere on January 30.
She also produces and advises for Bowery Hills Entertainment, where she has produced more than seven feature and TV projects including IFC’s The Damned and Passion Play starring Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray.
Krystal Tiffany Vayda (pictured, at bottom left) is a former child model and actress and has worked in the film and television business for more than 15 years. She attended the London Academy Of Music and Dramatic Arts and serves as a global brand ambassador for her family’s Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group VADI.
Brandon M Vayda (pictured, at top right) also has extensive experience in front of camera and worked on the updated version of the CW’s 90210. He most recently worked in private equity and sits on the VADI board.