01/09/2012

Mediterranean women in film and television: Imane Masbahi

“A distributor is not just an intermediary between a cinema and a producer”

Industry, Morocco

Mediterranean women in film and television: Imane Masbahi

Imane Mashabi, a Moroccan distributor and the head of Moroccan distribution company Canal4, spoke to Euromed Audiovisual during its distribution workshop on the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan last July 5 and 6. She and other professionals from the South Mediterranean will now attend a follow-up session during the Venice Film Festival. 

Extracts

 

Multiplexes encourage more Arab and Egyptian films in Morocco

“The concept of a multiplex is very important [...] because it gives more opportunities to screen different styles of films. Egyptian films were able to prove themselves by staying longer out in cinemas, and, in a few years, I was able to bring Egyptian films to the top of the box office.”

“I suggested to cinemas that they screen a Moroccan or Arab film instead of an American film, they tried, and it worked.”

Euromed Audiovisual II

“I had the opportunity to benefit from Euromed Audiovisual II, as it supported me for several films, and allowed me to give my films more visibility – I was able to organise premieres that the actors attended.”

Lack of state support

“Beside my work, there is no real state policy to support the distribution and exhibition sectors. The state used to focus more on production, which penalised cinemas, while also refusing to eradicate piracy. The result is catastrophic: many cinemas have closed and the number of distributors [in Morocco] is down to three.”

Euromed Audiovisuel III’s distribution workshops

“Finally, interest is being shown in distribution, a sector that is usually ignored. A distributor is not just an intermediary between a cinema and a producer, it’s a full job: choosing  films, how to present them, promote them, and give them maximum visibility.”

“Several meetings should be organised in parallel with big film festivals, and especially with film markets. Creating a [regional distribution] network is a must. It can only benefit Europeans and the Arab world.”

 

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