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Festivals & events

16 December 2009 à 19:25

The Dubai International Film Festival - what's at stake economically?

The 6th Dubai International Film Festival took place December 9 through 15, 2009. French films were particularly in the spotlight this year.Dubai International Film Festival - 2009

This year, festival organizers created a Focus France section to particularly highlight French film productions. Seven films participated in the Focus: The Last Flight by Karim Dridi, The Hedgehog by Mona Achache (in the presence of the director and the lead actress Josiane Balasko), L'Homme de Chevet (Cartagena) by Alain Monne (en the presence of the director, Sophie Marceau and Christophe Lambert), J'ai oublié de te dire by Laurent Vinas-Raymond (in the presence of the director and Omar Sharif), The Beaches of Agnes by Agnès Varda, and The Refuge by François Ozon (in the presence of Louis-Ronan Choisy).

The festival is the best launching platform for a film in the Arab world. This year, spectators also had the opportunity of seeing Welcome by Philippe Lioret in the Cinema of World section, Little Nicholas by Laurent Tirard (in his presence) in the Cinema for Children section, A Prophet by Jacques Audiard in the Arabian Nights section, and Goodbye Gary Cooper by Nassim Amaouche (in his presence) in the Muhr Arab Features section.

The festival's economy is related to its territory, the United Arab Emirates, for which we obtained scant data last year.
Analysis for 2008 establishes 263,077 admissions. The UAE are the first market for French films in the Arab region, ahead of Lebanon (111,236 admissions) and Egypt (a mere 47,856 admissions in 2008).
In terms of market share, the UAE and Lebanon are at the same level of aroudn 5%, bearing in mind the total number of admissions is 2 million in Lebanon and 4 million in the UAE.

17 French films, 13 majority, and 10 French language productions were distributed last year in the United Arab Emirates. Among them were Dragon Hunters, Tell No One, Chrysalis, and OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies.
Action films in English, such as Transporter 3 (100,000 admissions) have a high potential for attracting spectators in the region.

Distributors, whether they're Lebanese ( Italia Film,  Four Star Films, Empire...) or from the United Arab Emirates ( Gulf Film,  Front Row ...),systematically buy all the rights for the Near and Middle East, especially because of the satellite reach of pay TV networks.

The United Arab Emirates are not yet a large market, but they are already highly competitive. All the American majors have offices there and organizers of American film festivals (Tribeca, Sundance) rush to trade their savoir faire.

In this context, the Dubai International Film Festival remains the most important event of its kind in the Arab world - despite challenges posed by Abu Dhabi and Doha - and is used increasingly by distributors. Last year, The Class was bought by Gulf Film after being presented at the festival.

Author : Jean-Christophe Baubiat

Latest update : 06 January 2010 à 19:25 CET


Linked to this news article

Linked films (15)

Linked individuals (10)

Related companies (4)

Four Star Films

Activities :  Foreign distributor (feature film), Buyer (feature films)

Activities external to film production :  Foreign distributor (feature film)

Recent filmography : Aline, the Voice of Love, Bye Bye Morons, Queens of The Field, ...

Front Row

Activities :  Foreign distributor (feature film), Buyer (feature films)

Recent filmography : Paris, 13th District, Annette, Pinocchio, ...

Gulf Film

Activities :  Foreign distributor (feature film), Buyer (feature films)

Activities external to film production :  Foreign distributor (feature film), Exhibitor

Recent filmography : Cuban Network, Meander, City Hunter, ...


Italia Film

Activities :  Foreign distributor (feature film), Buyer (feature films)

Recent filmography : An Officer and a Spy, The Breitner Commando, Escape from Raqqa, ...

Linked events (1)


Dubai International Film Festival - 2009

Type : Feature film and short film festival

Theme : All films

Geographic areas (2)