The first Arab film industry umbrella group at Cannes, organized by Cairo and Abu Dhabi-based MAD Solutions — an innovative marketing and distribution company — will comprise 17 film outfits and orgs from eight Arab and European countries.
They are Film Clinic (Egypt), The Imaginarium Films (Jordan), The Producers (Egypt, the UAE), Crystal Dog (Egypt), The International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva (Switzerland), The Friends (Egypt), Seat 26 (Lebanon), True Motion (Egypt), Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation (Germany), Cinema Akil (UAE), Silk Road Film Festival (Ireland), Luxor’s African Film Festival’s Etisal Fund (Egypt), Ministry of Interior’s Cinema Awards (the UAE), Salam PROD (Egypt), Iraqi Independent Film Center (Iraq), Free TV (Egypt) and MAD Solutions (Egypt, the UAE).
MAD Solutions CEO Alaa Karkouti is calling the ACC the first-of-its-kind Arab umbrella group to be present at international film festivals and is aiming to make it a regular fest circuit fixture.
It could turn out to be a significant bridgehead between the Arab and European film industries at a time when several factors, including the Charlie Hebdo massacre, are bringing these industries closer together.
“The shape-shifting, globalized nature of Arab filmmaking today is why our Arab Cinema Center makes so much sense: We serve as a focal point amid all the Cannes festival and market madness for reaching out to those at the fluid forefront of a New Arab Wave,” said Colin Brown, managing partner and director of international operations at MAD Solutions.
“The fact that Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the UAE and Iraq can come under the same umbrella as Switzerland, Ireland and German speaks volumes about the international cross-fertilization that is now occurring,” he added.