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NEWS                                                                                                Thursday 16 May 2019
                                                                                                                                   DAY 3

                 THE BUZZ
                 OF THE DAY                                                                                    FROM NEW

                                                                                                               YORK’S CRIME
                 IMAGE NATION ABU DHABI                                                                        RIDDEN

                                                                                                               STREETS TO
                 SIGNS LANDMARK PARTNERSHIP                                                                    THE CROISETTE

                 FOR MIDDLE EASTERN PROJECTS                                                                          TEVE Mariotti, CEO, Atlas
                                                                                                                      Learning, Inc. introduces a
                                                                                                                      documentary exploring the
                  MAGE Nation Abu Dhabi, Majid Al                                                                     redemptive power of
                  Futtaim and MBC Studios have entered                                                         S entrepreneurship.  Who live
                  into an alliance to launch a production                                                      and who dies in a landscape of random
                  partnership for film and TV projects                                                         destruction? Is the drive to survive — to
                  I across the Middle East. The partnership                                                    see an opportunity, assess the risk and
                 will greenlight several projects each year,                                                   take it — the same as the drive to create
                 representing a significant boost to the                                                       value for one’s self and others after a
                 region’s growing entertainment industry.                                                      disaster? Can that drive be taught? The
                 In collaboration with the three                                                               road to answer those questions began in
                 organisations, the partnership will support                                                   the angry streets of New York’s roughest
                 projects from inception through to                                                            ghettos for educator/producer Steve
                 distribution.                                                                                 Mariotti. It took only 37 years to reach the
                 The partnership actively seeks projects                                                       Marché du Film. On an ordinary afternoon
                 from across the Middle East, with a focus                                                     in 1982, Mariotti experienced a terrifying
                 on Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, and has                                                       mugging by young, urban toughs that left
                 already begun producing its first project.   Michael Garin, CEO Image Nation Abu Dhabi (left), Majid Al Futtaim – Ventures’ Khaled El Chidiac   him suffering with PTSD. To heal, he
                 The first film supported by the partnership   and MBC Studios’ Peter Smith in Cannes to launch the landmark partnership  © DR  plunged into the black hole of educating
                 is Three Four Eternity, a vampire family   trio of companies will facilitate the creative   particularly, Saudi Arabia, in light of Vision   children like his attackers, the poorest of
                 drama produced by Mohamed Hefzy,   process at every step of a project’s   2030.”              the poor’s children, at the notorious public
                 under his company Film Clinic, which will   development, and this is a major step   Peter Smith, managing director of MBC   school Boys and Girls High School in
                 be the directorial debut for the film’s writer,   towards our vision of creating dynamic   Studios, said: “This is a strategic move by   Bedford-Stuyvesant, deep in the heart of
                 Rami Yasin (The Worthy, Zinzana). HWJN   content for the Middle East that will not   MBC Studios complemented by our   New York City. His experiences galvanising
                 which is currently in development is the   only engage locally, but also play to the rest   partners in Majid Al Futtaim and Image   those disengaged youths to learn by
                 feature-film adaptation of the bestselling   of the world,” he added.  Nation Abu Dhabi. We’re bringing   inspiring them to start their own small
                 Saudi Arabian novel from author Ibrahim   Majid Al Futtaim is contributing to the   together, for the very first time, a   businesses led Mariotti to expand his ideas
                 Abbas about a devout God-fearing Jinn   partnership through its cinema arm as both   360-degree Arab film entity that covers all   and ultimately found the Network for
                 who forges a special bond with a talented   an exhibitor and distributor of films.  aspects of content creation, including   Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). Now an
                 female medical student.        Majid Al Futtaim’s cinema entity, VOX   development, production, theatrical   international foundation that has
                 “This region has infinitely talented writers   Cinemas, includes over 400 screens in   exhibition, televising on the Middle East’s   graduated over a 1,000,000 under-
                 and filmmakers wanting to tell their   eight countries including Saudi Arabia   leading broadcaster and SVOD platforms,   privileged youths from 12 countries from
                 stories, as well as a sophisticated consumer   where the exhibitor opened the Kingdom’s   as well as international sales.  their entrepreneurial training programmes,
                 audience that craves locally made content   first multiplex in April 2018. VOX   “We want to create premium Arabic-  NFTE has revolutionised education for this
                 that resonates with them,” said Ben Ross,   Cinemas has opened a further four   language feature-film content from across   under-served population. Mariotti and his
                 chief content officer at Image Nation, the   multiplexes in Riyadh and Jeddah,   the Middle East to connect with audiences   team are at Cannes unveiling a
                 Academy Award-winning media and   totalling 47 screens, and plans to open 110   in the region and internationally. This   documentary entitled The Triumph of the
                 entertainment company in the Middle   by the end of 2019.     partnership, in essence, creates a fully   Entrepreneurial Spirit. This fully funded,
                 East.                          Khaled El Chidiac, acting CEO, Majid Al   integrated studio.”  work-in-progress explores the lives of nine
                 “This partnership will have a significant   Futtaim – Ventures, said: “Entertainment   Image Nation and MBC Studios   survivors of war, genocide, abuse, disease,
                 impact on the scale and ambition of the   and creative industries are vital to a   announced earlier this year a slate of Saudi   and worse who have risen from victim to
                 region’s industries, enabling more creatives   thriving and diversified economy and there   films for local, regional and international   victors. The documentary presents an
                 to bring their ideas to life and deliver the   has never been a more exciting time to be   audiences.✦   ethnically diverse set of distinctive personal
                 content that audiences want to see. The   part of this field in the MENA region, and      Liza Foreman  profiles. Footage was shot on location,
                                                                                                               bringing the viewer into the specific world
                                                                                                               of each profiled entrepreneur, from a
                                                                                                               Bedouin village to Ethiopia to the Bialystok
                 INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR FIZZ-E-MOTION                                                       ghetto in World War II. More on-location
                                                                                                               footage will be shot during 2019. The aim
                 LAUNCHES IN CANNES WITH FIVE NEW TITLES                                                       of the completed 90-minute documentary
                                                                                                               is general release to theatres, and to
                NEW INTERNATIONAL distributor Fizz-e-  and a focus on a smaller but selective   The sales catalogue includes the sci-fi film   television and online outlets, with strong
                Motion, founded by Luke Corradine and   number of films, Fizz-e-Motion believes   The Last Boy from UK director Perry   potential to be developed into a television
                Yannick Rudynski, is doing its first Cannes,   that creating a good symbiosis between   Bhandal which features Luke Goss and   series.  ✦       Liza Foreman
                presenting an ambitious catalogue of five   producers and distributors can yield better   Peter Guinness in one of his best
                new titles from the UK, Poland, the US and   and more successful films.    performances to date. Fizz-e-Motion is also
                Latin America. Fizz-e-Motion is active in   The company is bringing to the market   in pre-production for drama series The
                sales and production and has offices in   Tomasz Szafranski’s third feature film, the   Voice of the Dead based on Julian Sanchez’   NEWS  THE  OFFICIAL  DAIL Y
                Cannes and Vienna.              €2.5 m family adventure, Rock ‘n’Roll Eddie   best-selling trilogy books to be shot in
                With a background in production,   featuring Marciej Makowski which   Barcelona later this year.✦   JOIN US ON US ON
                distribution, music and financial advising,   premiered theatrically  in April in Poland.     Liza Foreman
                  CORRECTION :  Yesterday in an interview we ran with David Garrett of Mister Smith Entertainment
                  we printed his name incorrectly. We apologise for this error.                         

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