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05 March 2024

Dubai Film Market emerges frontrunner in Gulf

By Staff Writer

The Dubai Film Market received an overwhelming response from industry leaders during its inaugural run at the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) and emerged as a frontrunner in film distribution and trade in the region.

The Dubai Film Market operated on two fronts, the Cinetech and the Market Lounge. The Cinetech, a digital library of over 200 films, represented 64 countries and 44 different languages, the majority from the Middle East. The Market Lounge facilitated meetings between buyers and sellers, boosting the exposure of filmmakers from emerging markets to some of the most prominent sales agents, producers and studio executives in the world.

Ziad Yaghi, Director of the Film Market, said: "The Dubai Film Market is a natural progression towards establishing Dubai as the regional centre for discovery and trade of content that will benefit the rapidly evolving media industry, both in the Arab world and in emerging markets of Africa and Asia."

"Diff's mandate has always been to showcase cinema from the Arab region and beyond. The Film Market provided the physical means for doing this, and the response from film professionals was overwhelmingly positive."

Confirmed deals thus far include distribution of the South African feature Mr.Bones 2 in the Middle East by Alchemy Films; acquisition of renowned animator Bill Plympton's two latest 35 mm films: Santa, the Fascist Years and Bill's Mexican Standoff by Shorts International; the launch of a large, Dubai-based CGI project; and progress on acquisitions of a large number of films by SBS in Australia.

Filmmakers Rachel Gandin and Chadi Zeneddine, who are shooting a new Disney Movie, used the Cinetech facilities to cast the production, expanding the range of the service's applications to include pre-production preparation.

Registration to the Dubai Film Market was open to all professional industry participants from around the world.