Variety will be the official media partner of the first Arab Cinema Center to be set up at the upcoming Cannes Film Market.

Variety is partnering with MAD Solutions, the innovative marketing and distribution company based in Cairo and Abu Dhabi, to support the ACC, which will comprise 17 film outfits and orgs from eight Arab and European countries.

“It is really great to be in partnership with the most prestigious media outlet in the field of cinema and entertainment, which I think validates the Arab world’s importance to the global entertainment industry,” enthused Abdallah Al Shami, Managing Partner of MAD Solutions’ Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) branch, in a statement.

Variety’s International Director Alberto Lopez underscored that “Variety has always been an ardent supporter of Arab cinema and Arab filmmakers, and our numerous editorial spotlights and regional festival partnerships have always been designed to promote Arab talent globally.”

MAD Solutions CEO Alaa Karkouti is calling the ACC, which bowed at the Berlin fest earlier this year, the first-of-its-kind Arab umbrella group to be present at international film festivals. He is is aiming to make it a regular fest circuit fixture.

The companies 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).

The 68th Cannes Film Festival will run May 13-24.