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Ten Names You Need To Know In The Arab Film Industry

These actors, filmmakers and auteurs are making a big splash in entertainment.

MOHAMED HEFZY
Egypt’s most innovative indie producer, his Film Clinic co-produced Cannes Un Certain Regard opener “Clash.”

AMR WAKED
The Arab actor with the most international star power, Waked played the French cop in Luc Besson’s “Lucy” and will soon be seen in Gerard Butler’s sci-fi blockbuster “Geostorm.” He is also a producer, developing a feature based on former Al Jazeera English journo Mohamed Fahey’s upcoming memoir “The Marriott Cell.”

DORA BOUCHOUCHA
Tunisian producer, most recently of newcomer Mohamed Ben Attia’s “Hedi”

ALAA KARKOUTI

Head of MAD Solutions, the Cairo and Abu Dhabi-based marketing and distribution outfit that is pioneering micro-release strategies and social media campaigns.

ELIA SULEIMAN
Palestinian auteur and artistic advisor of the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra incubator for Arab cinema known for his works with surreal comic tones about Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, such as “Divine Intervention” and “The Time That Remains,” Suleiman is the guiding light of Qumra, which aims to nurture a new generation of Arab directors through an innovative formula blending creative workshop and festival elements.

MASOUD AMRALLA AL ALI
Dubai Intl. Film Festival artistic directorwidely respected as a leading Arab cinema expert, he has been instrumental to making Dubai the top fest in the Arab world.

NABIL AYOUCH
Morocco’s best-known helmer, whose 2012 pic, “Horses of God,” about the 2003 Casablanca suicide bombers, was sold to 40 countries.
His most recent film, “Much Loved,” about four prostitutes working in Marrakech, caused commotion and was banned in Morocco and got plenty of international praise last year.

MAHMOUD SABBAGH
Director of groundbreaking Saudi romantic comedy “Barakah Meets Barakah” about the complexities of dating in Saudi Arabia played earlier this year in Berlin’s Panorama section, the first Saudi film ever to screen at the Berlinale. A graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism he also created-directed provocative Saudi TV/Web drama series “Cash.”

AYMAN JAMAL
Founder and owner of Dubai-based Barajoun Entertainment, the first bona-fide Arab animation studio, which recently shepherded “Bilal,” a cinematic feat that marks the first CG-animated feature to come out of the Middle East.

MICHAEL GARIN
Former Hollywood exec is now CEO of Abu Dhabi-based film and TV production powerhouse ImageNation

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