Filmmart reaps success at Dubai Film Festival

By Dibyojyoti Baksi, IANS
Sunday, December 19, 2010

DUBAI - Dubai Filmmart, the marketing division of the Dubai International Film Festival, brokered international distribution deals for a number of films but it will be a while before the business generated is known.

This is because it can take up to six months for the deals to fructify, the organisers.

The Cinetech at the filmmart, with its 30 work stations where films were being watched by distributors, turned out to be a great success. Until Saturday, 1,800 screenings were conducted at Cinetech - with a total of 219 viewers.

“It was an incredibly successful venture reaping great results. There are more viewings, more people participating. Compared to last year, things have really changed,” Dubai Filmmart director Ziad Yaghi told IANS.

“We established ourselves in the first two years and now we are starting to see the fruits of it,” he added.

Other than providing services throughout the week, expert consultation and matchmaking services, the Filmmart was responsible for the sale of ‘Il Padre E Lo Straniero’ (The Father and the Foreigner) to the well-renowned Front Row Films.

All rights for the film were sold through Gianluca Chacra for the Middle East and North Africa.

Thanking Sam Eigan of Shoreline Management, Yaghi said an 11-picture deal was struck for Middle East distribution rights with Phoenicia Pictures International.

The deal includes Jim Kouf’s “A Fork in the Road”, the first feature film from the writer of “National Treasure”, “Rush Hour”, and “Stakeout” as well as five 2011 titles that have never been to a market,” Yaghi said.

With the help of famous French resident consultant Pascal Diot, Filmmart managed to schedule over 60 meetings with him alone.

Over 100 meetings took place in total, between the consultants and industry guests. It also managed to complete 100 questionnaires that reflected its guests’ feedback regarding the Dubai Film Market and the improvements that could be brought in.

(Dibyojyoti Baksi can be contacted at

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