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NEWS                                                                                                 Tuesday 14 May 2019
                                                                                                                                   DAY 1

                 CANNES Q&A:

                 DR. ESSAM BUKHARY

                CEO, MANGA PRODUCTIONS

                Please explain what Manga      mediums now as we’re seeing material that   technologies from experienced countries to
                Productions does               would have been released theatrically 10 or   Saudi Arabia; build and improve
                Manga Productions produces globally   so years ago, debuting on premium cable   professional content development in Saudi
                competitive animation movies, television   and streaming platforms and doing very   Arabia; support and foster start-ups and
                series and video games. Currently, we are   well. As a company producing content that   young talents in Saudi Arabia and the Arab    Dr. Essam Bukhary  © DR
                preparing the launch of 2D and 3D   can live just about anywhere, we must stay   World in the fields of creating comics,
                animation movies in partnership with   up-to-date on the latest developments   animations and video games; and promote   commercially viable animated films in the
                world leading animation studios. The   across all industries in the global   positive values and ethics among youth and   marketplace.
                movies are expected to be seen on cinema   entertainment ecosystem, and that is   younger generations.
                screens and international TV channels in   achieved, in part, by attending the major          How many Cannes have you
                the next few years. A subsidiary within   markets.              Which territories are up or down for   attended?
                Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin                                co-productions?                This is the debut Cannes Market and
                Salman’s MiSK Foundation, Manga is   What are Manga’s plans for the   We are open and would like to collaborate   Festival for Manga and we could not be
                creating an ecosystem throughout Saudi   Cannes Film Festival and the Cannes   with companies all over the world. At the   more excited. This will be the first of many
                Arabia and the Arab world, in which young   Marché this year? What do you   moment though, Japan is a wonderful   we hope. Its up to us to deliver on our
                talents are supported and given   hope to see while you are  here —  territory for collaboration as we have an   promise to be a key contributor to the
                opportunities to produce high quality work   and what kinds of people and   existing pact with Toei Animation to   animation sector, globally, which would
                representing our culture.      companies do you hope to meet and   produce animated content together. Our   lead us back to Cannes every year.
                                               do business with?               first joint production was The Woodcutter’s
                How important is the Cannes    We are launching several animation projects   Treasure, a 20-minute animation based on   Best Cannes film ever?
                market for you and your company?  to promote Saudi ideas and messages   Saudi Arabian folklore. Production is   I’m too biased, and would name every
                Given that our mission is to become not   internationally, and work as a pioneer in   complete on Arabic and Japanese versions.   animated film ahead of any live-action
                just the regional leader, but a true global   creative content development, offering   The team is also producing a 13-episode   movie that has played in Cannes!  The
                pioneer in the values driven content space,   innovative products to build and enable   animated folklore TV series, which is   bottom line is every film that has screened
                we need to have a presence at the events   ambitious generations of young creatives.   currently in production.   at this amazing festival has had a moment
                that drive this agenda and there really is no   Cannes is the perfect stage for us to interact      that will live forever with the filmmakers,
                bigger platform than the Cannes Film   with potential collaborators for distribution   What type of product is in demand   cast, and anyone who had a part in it —
                Festival and adjoining Marché du Film. For   internationally, and to assess the overall   currently?  and those are the everlasting, magical
                us, Cannes is now is an essential platform   landscape. We are taking many meetings   There is a strong global market demand for   moments that matter most.
                for relationship building, deal-making,   and will be quite active.   high-quality animated films and we have
                talent discovery and assessment,                               ambitions for not only Manga, but an   Biggest gripe on the Riviera?
                competitive analysis, and company    What does the future hold for   entire generation of young Saudi   We have amazing coffee and dates in Saudi
                promotion.                     Manga Productions? What can you   storytellers, to be a major player in the   Arabia — it would be amazing if there was
                                               tell us about the next five or 10   feature film space. With the worldwide   a place or two where we could get them
                What other markets do you attend?  years? What are some of your   appetite for animated entertainment   here in Cannes! I promise you, there would
                We’ve begun attending TV markets like   goals?                 continuing to grow, we feel it’s important   be a lot of happy festival-goers who would
                MIPTV and MIPCOM as well as speciality   We are on pace to fulfill our mission to   for Manga to establish a footprint in this   enjoy balancing the strong sour flavour of
                festivals like Annecy, with more to come.   identify, develop and create inspiring   market category and deliver the most   the coffee with the sweetness of the dates —
                There of course is overlap between content   stories; transfer content development   entertaining, cutting-edge and   Saudi style.✦    Liza Foreman


                                                        HE COLCOA French Film   series even more visible,” said the festival’s   filmmakers invited to COLCOA  not only
                                                        Festival will celebrate its 23rd   executive producer and artistic director,   present their film but meet American
                                                        anniversary later this year.  François Truffart.      professionals in LA including and are part
                                                        Running from 23-28     He added: “The number of awards will   of workshops about writing and
                                                T September at the Directors   also be reduced for this reason. Generally   directing,” he said. “The main talent
                                                Guild of America in Hollywood, 50-plus   speaking, we now want COLCOA to be   agencies attend the festival and, in the
                                                films will be in competition for the   the window in Hollywood for French   past, several filmmakers have signed with
                                                COLCOA Awards 2019, unspooling in   cinema and TV programmes between   an agent after being invited at COLCOA.”
                                                three sections: Cinema, Television (Series   Venice, Toronto, Telluride and the New   He adds: “I would say that the foreign film
                                                and TV Movies) and Shorts. To be selected,   York Film Festival. We will work to expose   market remains a niche market for French
                                                films and series must be a French   films in order for them to compete for   films and series with a higher competition
                                                production or co-production.   other awards including the Academy   within this market between countries.
                                                For the first time, the festival is scheduled   Awards.”      Despite the development of streaming
                                                to take place at this time of year, in order   One of the missions of the festival is to   services, French cinema continues to be
                                                to make the most of the awards season.  showcase French films and series in the US   released in theatres for now with about
                                                “With these new dates, we want the   and support acquisitions, releases or   45 films theatrically distributed. The Netflix
                                                showcase to be part of the Awards Season   remake rights. “COLCOA is a visible   revolution also has an impact even if the
                                                in Hollywood. We also want to bring the   platform to promote new French talent in   system is made to promote our films only
                                                festival to a higher level with a smaller   Hollywood,” he said. The festival is also   to subscribers already interested in French
                                                programme in order to make films and   designed to facilitate networking. “French   programmes.”✦    Liza Foreman

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