Kanye West in Talks to Film Mini-Movie in Middle East
Kanye West had a pretty terrific 2011, coming away with a stack of Grammy nominations, a successful tour with Jay-Z, and one of the year's most talked-about hip-hop records. How's he going to follow up all that? According to the New York Observer, he's planning on heading to the Persian Gulf to make a movie.
The Observer hears West is currently scouting locations for the project, which is said to be a short film in the vein of his 30-minute 'Runaway' video. "A bidding war is going on between various government entities and private investors to fund the film," a source told the paper. "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."
It wouldn't be a Kanye West project if it wasn't hugely ambitious, and according to the Observer, West plans on nothing less than bridging the cultural gap between East and West. "His reps seemed genuinely enthusiastic about creating a piece which highlights the culture accurately," continued the source quoted in the article. "There’s a lot of preconceived notions and stereotypes about Emiratis and Qataris, which Westerners often play up. They discussed how Kanye is looking to bridge the cultural divide and break misconceptions."
Of course, it probably doesn't hurt that West intends to reserve some roles for local royalty. As the article points out, "many of the Sheikhs like to be flashy and appreciate celebrity notoriety."