Americans give Cairo’s Camar TV a miss

Dispatch

CAIRO — The 10th Cairo Intl. Market for Radio and TV Production (Camar TV) moved from early July to June 23-27 to coincide with a meeting of information ministers from Arab countries in the hope of drumming up more TV biz in the Middle East.

The timing worked, says Maha Darwish, VP for marketing and development of the State-run Egyptian Radio and TV Union (ERTU), which ran the mart. “Camar was busy, with new participants including China and Germany, signaling it as the major Middle East TV market.”

However, she concedes the early timing did not suit Americans as none attended, adding, “we hope for closer co-operation at Mipcom.”

More than 300 participants and 1,000 visitors attended the mart, held in an elaborate tent housing 145 stands from 21 countries in Media City, in the Cairo suburbs.

Arab news satcaster Al Jazeera attended after a few years’ absence and reiterated plans to set up a long stalled documentary and English-lingo channel.

Awards were given to TV and radio shows at the sidebar Radio and TV Programs Festival.

Egypt netted the lion’ share with 33 awards, Syria won 10 and Qatar five with 873 competing productions judged by 170 jury members.

The Golden Award went to Syrian TV series, “Summer in Kortoba,” with its writer Walid Feif winning for script. Syrian Abed Sahd won actor honors for “El Hagag.”

Darwish said ERTU chalked up sales to Middle East channels, Indonesian state TV and Malaysia’s Falcon for 12 TV series, gearing up for December’s Ramadan holiday viewing. These include “Matrimonial Games,” “Salt of the Earth,” “Song for a Beautiful Woman,” “Love Tree,” historical drama “El Tarik,” “This is in the Heart,” “Daughter of Tasha,” “Egyptian Papers” and “Thousand and One Nights.”

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