MEDIS distribution network to work on Arab film database

Members of the first South Mediterranean film distributor network met at the Tangier Film Festival

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MEDIS distribution network to work on Arab film database

Members of new South Mediterranean film distributor network MEDIS met in Tangier this month, on the sidelines of Morocco’s 14th National Film Festival.

Board members and associate members notably held a press conference about the network launched in Dubai last December with the support of Euromed Audiovisual. The event was well attended, and raised interesting debate after a presentation by the new association’s president, Mohamed Layadi.

“I was impressed by the time given to the meeting and by how serious the presentation and ensuing debate were,” Lebanese producer and MEDIS network member Naila Abdelkhalek told Euromed Audiovisual of this first encounter with representatives of Moroccan public opinion.

This is no doubt because today people are more aware of the challenges to cinema in the region.

“Arab cinema, like what is happening in Morocco, has made a real comeback in terms of production and the number of films made thanks to increasing types of aid and support,” said Abdelkhalek, “but this production is neither able to reach its natural target audience nor that of culturally similar countries.”

One of the aims of the MEDIS network is to create a real market for films from the South Mediterranean, starting with establishing a broad network of professionals from different countries: “For this, we are supported by Euromed Audiovisual in terms of networking, financial means, and logistics.”

Short term, the idea is to launch a private company to benefit from the work of the MEDIS network, notably with the preparation of a large database on Arab cinema.

At the press conference, journalists notably brought up the thorny issue of the increasing disappearance of cinemas in Morocco, as a revealing example of what is happening in the region.

Mohamed Layadi, MEDIS network president, insisted on the role of people's love for cinema to encourage the public back into film theatres: “This return can generate private and public investment in cinemas.”

MEDIS network representatives also held meetings with Moroccan professionals who were present in Tangier, and thus recruited some new members.


Mohammed Bakrim


Photo: Naila Abdelkhalek

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