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Play4film focuses on MidEast

Portal signs deal with Arab Digital Alliance

ROME — Making a global play, Italo movie portal Play4film is looking to lure Middle Eastern movie buffs, having closed a 500-pic package deal with Cairo-based Arab Digital Alliance, the latest in its slew of recent agreements with international distributors.

The Rome-based operation, with a website in Italian, English, French and Spanish, will now add an Arabic-language section. Move comes amid a flurry of activity for the indie Internet download-to-own distrib with an increasingly diversified library.

Play4film’s package of vintage Arabic titles includes works by noted Egyptian helmers Mohamed Fadel (“Nasser 66”), Khairy Beshara (“Sweet Day, Bitter Day”) and several titles starring popular comic Samir Ghanim (“The Married Couples”).

Topped by former film editor Giovanni Ballantini, with a team of buyers located in the U.S., Eastern Europe and Latin America, Play4film has deals in place with U.S. distribs Singa Home Entertainment, for classic Hollywood titles such as Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” and with Maxim Media International for Yank horror fare.

Italo portal is assembling a wide range of offerings, some of which are available in free streaming, such as U.S. helmer Melissa Eidson’s docu “No Son Invisibles: Maya Women and Microfinance,” featuring Nobel Peace prize winner Muhammed Yunus, which screened at the Turin Film Festival.

In Europe, Play4film has pacts with Denmark’s Trust Film, Switzerland’s Diva, and is in advanced talks with Gaul’s Bac Films, Pyramid Flach and MK2.

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