Kanye West to Make Film in Middle East

Rapper scouting locations in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha Qatar

February 2, 2012 8:35 AM ET
Kanye West
Kanye West performs during the Watch The Throne tour.
Jason Squires/WireImage

Kanye West has reportedly sent emissaries to the Persian Gulf region of the Middle East to scout locations for a short film. According to The Observer, the rapper's new project will be a hybrid art film/music video, much like his 30-minute clip for "Runaway" back in 2010.

The Observer's sources say that West's representatives are meeting with film companies and government officials in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha Qatar to figure out the logistics of their production. "In Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha all of the film initiatives are government controlled," says one source close to the talks. "A bidding war is going on between various government entities and private investors to fund the film. There’s pretty intense rivalry here between Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar. They all want to claim the film as their own and take credit for generating the publicity."

According to reports, West conceived the project after falling in love with the region after performing in Abu Dhabi last year, and he hopes to offer an authentic depiction of the culture. "His reps seemed genuinely enthusiastic about creating a piece which highlights the culture accurately," the source explained. "There’s a lot of preconceived notions and stereotypes about Emiratis and Qataris, which Westerners often play up."

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