Euromed Audiovisual's film distribution workshop came to an end on Friday, with new deals for Mediterranean distributors and the next steps outlined in creating a regional distribution network.
The workshop’s second day kicked off with a presentation of Europa Cinema Mundus, a scheme created by Europa Cinemas and financed by MEDIA Mundus, to support distributors all around the world wishing to distribute European films in their countries.
Three major European sales agents -- Fortissimo Films, Urban Distribution and Wide -- then presented their line-ups to attending Mediterranean distributors.
These included Marjane Satrapi’s The Gang of the Jonas, Faouzi Bensaidi’s Death for Sale, Safinz Bousbia’s El Gusto, Jung and Laurent Boileau’s Approved for Adoption (Couleur de peau: miel).
These European line-ups were followed by a presentation of several recent Mediterranean films without sales agents, including Michel Ghosn’s A Man of Honor, Lara Saba’s 39 Seconds, Hicham Lasri’s The End (Al Nihaya), and Wissam Charaf’s It’s All in Lebanon.
One-to-one meetings and negotiations were up next.
“I’m ready to sign several deals in the coming weeks,” said Frédéric Corvez, from Urban. “I was able to meet incredibly passionate people and to conclude deals for several films.”
But there were also some unexpected deals.
“These meetings are extremely important, as we were able to meet sales agents on very close, friendly terms,” said Moroccan distributor Imane Mashbai. “I was able to conclude several deals for the film Road to Kabul that I’m currently distributing in Morocco.”
At the end of the day, participants brainstormed on the next steps towards a regional distribution network.
“We need to stand together to better negotiate with our governments and raise awareness on the importance of the distribution sector,” declared Lebanese distributor Rania Haddad.
“Everybody must do his homework and send proposals on how the network should work,” suggested Moroccan distributor Mohamed Layadi.
“As distributors, we need to be coached by the Euromed Audiovisual experts in order to establish this fundamental network,” added Egyptian distributor Sahar El Sherbini.
Dubai based distributor Gian Luca Chakra concluded: “For the next meeting, I think it's important to invite broadcasters and institutions to take part in the discussions.”
Two follow-up meetings have already been scheduled to be held during the Venice and Dubai Film Markets. Pascal Diot, a moderator during the two-day workshop and director of the above-mentioned markets, has told Euromed Audiovisual that he is available to help create a Mediterranean distribution network.
“I can offer my network and experience, I can clearly see great potential,” he concluded, before his departure to Venice to start preparing the very challenging Venice Film Market.
Dima Saqf Alhait, Shashat
Eva Badr, MC Distribution
Habib Bel Hadi, Arts Distribution
Hachemi Zertal, Cirta films
Hala Lotfy, Hassala Productions
Husam A. Amouri, Middle East Film Distribution Co.
Imane Masbahi, Canal4
Khaled Haddad, Jordan Pioneers Multimedia Production Company
Marianne Khoury, Misr International Films (Youssef Chahine)
Mohamed Alaoui El Hassani, Younes sarl
Mounia Layadi, Marrakech Spectacles
Pnina Halfon Lang, PI Productions
Rania Haddad, Cedars Art Production (Sabbah Brothers)
Sahar Mohamed El Sherbini, Al Arabia Cinema Production & Distribution