Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced the films that have benefitted from Dubai Distribution Programme, a new initiative by Dubai Film Market (DFM). The initiative aims to identify and support the best Arab films featured at this years DIFF and facilitate their distribution within the region. Through the programmes efforts five Middle East distributors […]
Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has announced the films that have benefitted from Dubai Distribution Programme, a new initiative by Dubai Film Market (DFM). The initiative aims to identify and support the best Arab films featured at this years DIFF and facilitate their distribution within the region.
Through the programmes efforts five Middle East distributors have agreed to acquire at least one Arab title from the DIFF line-up and release it theatrically across the region with Dolphins, Abood Kandaishan and Cairo Time amongst the first titles selected. The distributors include Empire, Gulf Film, VOX Cinemas, Iraqi Cinemas and Front Row Filmed Entertainment, which is participating alongside its business partner Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC).
Dubai-based exhibitor and distributor VOX, which operates cinemas in the UAE, Oman and Lebanon, has picked up Waleed Al Shehhis debut feature Dolphins for release in the Gulf. Baghdad-based Iraqi Cinemas has also picked up Dolphins for Iraq and has acquired Egyptian Amir Ramses ensemble work Cairo Time about six interconnected lives. Gulf Films is in final negotiations to take on Emirati Abood Kandaishan, a low-budget comedy shot guerrilla-style by up and coming director Fadel Almheiri.
In the first quarter of 2015 it is expected that the three Emirati films will be accessible to cinema goers across the region; Ali Mostafas pan-Arab road movie From A to B is due to be distributed in January, Dolphins in February and Abood Kandaishan in March.
Shivani Pandya, Managing Director of DIFF, said: Through DFMs extensive network Dubai Distribution Programme aims to help regional filmmakers gain the exposure for their work that they deserve. Some of the difficult issues our filmmakers previously faced is a lack of finance to complete their projects, a lack of contact with buyers and film agents and the inability to distribute their films far and wide. DIFF addressed these issues head-on by establishing the DFM in 2007; supporting all facets of Arab cinema and this new initiative as helped to bridge the gap between filmmakers and distributors; ensuring distributors are up to date on best films from across the region. This new initiative will boost exposure to our filmmakers work, which only goes to support the exponential growth of the film market in the UAE and beyond.
We are delighted with the stellar success of the initiative and the engagement of distributors thus far. We are confident that local film enthusiasts will support the initiative by watching these films in their local cinemas and ensuring both success and longevity for the programme, added Pandya.
Currently in the first year of initiative, DFM will be exploring growth opportunities and looking to expand the network of partners both locally and internationally in the coming months. DIFF will also be supporting the filmmakers and distributors through targeted marketing campaign on the lead-up to each films release.
The DFM was launched in 2007 to support Arab cinema and regional filmmakers, who previously struggled to find support and finance to complete their work. In addition to the distribution programme, the DFMs Forum organised full day workshops and debates aimed at educating local producers and filmmakers on the challenges of distributing in the Middle East.