Andrei Kamarowsky, who recently stepped down from Orange Studio, where he spearheaded international, has joined Dubai-based distribution group Gulf Film as its chief operating officer.
Founded three decades ago, Gulf Film is involved in both distribution and exhibition in the Middle East, and has close relationships with Studiocanal and Pathé, and output deals with STX Entertainment, MGM and EuropaCorp, where Kamarowsky worked as senior VP of international sales for more than six years. Gulf Film also has deals with companies such as OSN, Filmbox, Netflix and Vubiquity.
Gulf Film is the sister company of Novo Cinemas, one of the region’s leading cinema chains with more than 200 screens.
Every year, the company distributes more than 100 movies in the Middle East. Some of its biggest B.O. hits include “Spectre,” “Fast & Furious 6” and “Taken 3,” which grossed $12.6 million, $10.4 million and $10.2 million, respectively.
Kamarowsky told Variety that he was joining Gulf Film at a crucial time as the company is looking to tap into the ongoing theatrical boom of the Middle East, where the number of screens has risen to 1,600, with nearly 60 multiplexes slated to get built within the next five years Saudi Arabia alone.
The executive, who recently relocated to Dubai with his Parisian family, said the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is one of the world’s fastest-growing film markets. The number of theatrical admissions in the region grew from 46 million tickets sold in 2018 to an estimated 53 million for 2019.
“For over a decade, the box office has been increasing every year and there are no signs of this changing for the years to come, especially in the emerging markets,” said Kamarowsky, who will be attending the AFM for Gulf Film in November.
On top of handling distribution and exhibition activities, Kamarowsky will also be in charge of scouting for opportunities to co-produce and co-finance high-profile English-language projects. Kamarowsky said he was also interested in getting Gulf Film to invest in talented emerging directors in the Middle East.
“The Middle Eastern film market is opening up and people have an appetite for fresh new voices and many different kinds of movies,” said Kamarowsky.
At EuropaCorp, Kamarowsky sold a wide range of movies, from actioners such as “Taken 2,” ”Taken 3” and “Transporter 4,” to science fiction movies such as “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” While at Orange Studio, Kamarowski most recently handled international sales on Olivier Assayas’ most ambitious film to date, “The Wasp Network,” starring Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez.