EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Kalligheri and Stephen Bowen’s Waterstone Entertainment are teaming up with Qatar-based Innovation Films to develop and produce film and television projects in Qatar and will kick off with The Greatest Salesman In The World.

The deal is believed to be the first between Hollywood and a Qatari production company and will see Waterstone will open an office in Doha, Qatar. Kalligheri, Bowen and John Darko will produce for Waterstone while Innovation Films head Ahmed Al Baker and his co-head of parent company Innovation Group Mohammad Al Hamadi and Mohammad Al Ibrahim will do so for Innovation Films.

The producers are eying a first quarter 2013 start on the adaptation of Og Mandino’s self-help bestseller The Greatest Salesman In The World. The partners previously collaborated on horror thriller Killcam which Darko directed and Al Baker and Al Ibrahim produced.

“We’ve found a team of producers and executives who are extremely creative, intelligent and excited about the business and we can’t wait to get started on The Greatest Salesman In The World, the first of many films that we will be shooting in the region,” Kalligheri said.

“My whole life I wanted to tell stories, and impact my culture with a cinematic point of view,” Al Baker said. “A movement is happening in filmmaking in this region and I’m thankful to be a part of this movement. I consider partnering up with Waterstone Entertainment as just the beginning of a long journey for us both.”