Arab Cinema Center (ACC) — a non-profit organization based in Berlin that is focused on creating networking opportunities between Arab filmmakers and their counterparts around the globe — is scheduled to hold a panel as part of the activities of the upcoming edition of the Berlin International Film Festival’s (Berlinale) European Film Market.
The panel titled “Arab Box Office Bonanza”, to be moderated by Deadline’s Senior International Film Correspondent Melanie Goodfellow, will address the MENA region’s record-breaking box-office revenues which are now approaching an unprecedented $1 billion, powered by astonishing cinema attendance figures together with new milestones for independent Arab-language features in other countries such as Egypt.
The panel will look at the surging success of local-language film titles, how well MENA holds up against other regions’ theatrical revenues right now, and what the post-pandemic future holds for the cinema exhibition business in the Arab World even in the face of strong local competition from social media and streaming services.
ACC Co-Founders Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab expressed their excitement for the upcoming editions of the Berlinale and EFM, in particular how these recent success stories for Arab cinema demonstrate the enduring strength of the cinema experience at a time when the film industry at large has been lamenting the decline of theatrical audiences a of cinema will stressing the growing footprint of the Saudi film industry and the pan-Arab film industry at large on the global scene.
“In the face of an equally ever-changing global social, political, and economic landscape, it gives us joy to be able to celebrate these oases of success: independent Arab films are getting attention on the global stage and are also winning over audiences at home,” commented Karkouti and Diab. “We are delighted to share those achievements with the international film community in the hope that this fosters greater global collaboration with the fastest growing entertainment sector in the world right now.”
“We would also like to thank the Berlinale and the EFM for consistently giving the MENA region a platform to make its voice heard by hosting these panels,” they concluded.
In addition to the panels, the ACC will unveil a new edition of its Arab Cinema Magazine; it will crown its latest Arab Personality of the Year; and it will be announcing the latest critics to join the already extensive jury for its Arab Critics Awards for Arab Films.