CANNES: New International Showbiz Expo Launch

International Showbiz Expo Abu Dhabi, an ambitious new entertainment industry event that aims to become a driver for the nascent film, TV, digital, multimedia, and music industries in the United Arab Emirates, was unveiled at Cannes on Friday, with U.S. producer Ed Pressman (pictured) on hand.

Pressman will be honored by the expo with a lifetime achievement award and retrospective of his films that include “Wall Street,” “Badlands” and “American Psycho.”

The first edition of the expo will run October 20-22, just prior to the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, in a slot previously held by the Abu Dhabi Media Summit, which has now been shifted to other, as yet unspecified, dates.

International Showbiz Abu Dhabi will be organized by Dubai-based MCI, a branch of Switzerland-based events company MCI, and by Singapore-based Xeitgeist Entertainment Group.

At a press conference Xeitgeist CEO Joe Thomas underlined the “educational” aspect of the event, which “will offer great potential for information and skill transferring to benefit all aspects of the entertainment industry.”

MCI managing director Ajay Bhojwani said the idea was “to cement the region’s reputation as a creative hub year after year.” Xeitgeist and MCI have a five-year deal.

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