MBC2 building interactive movie portal



DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Stand by for the Middle East movie mash-up. Regional movie channel MBC2 is launching a bilingual interactive online movie portal, Movies in Motion, aimed at film buffs in the Arab world, the company said here Wednesday.

"The Movies in Motion Web site creates a whole new world in which movie lovers can engage, connect and converse about all things movie related. It's time to take MBC beyond the screen and into the community," MBC2 senior marketing manager Andrew Maskall said.

The portal is in Arabic and English. Using the built-in Web site applications and a huge library of popular movie scenes, the community can create their own movie mash-ups and submit them for posting on the site.

"User-generated content is the new buzz word, and that's very much true of this site. We supply the clips and the music -- you put it together," said Maskall, adding that all film postings would be screened before uploading to make sure they are suitable for the region.

The site also will allow visitors to share favorite movies, chat online with the rest of the community and more. "We don't want to be another Facebook. Our primary objective is to turn mega movie watchers into mini-moviemakers," said Yousef Tuqan of Flip Media, the Dubai-based Web development company that built the site.

A free-to-air, 24-hour movie channel, MBC2 has been broadcasting for five years and now claims an audience of 40 million across the Arab world. It is one of six channels operated by Dubai-based MBC, the biggest network in the region, with about 60 million viewers across the Middle East and North Africa.

A special section on the Movies in Motion site features more than 30 of the best entries created by UAE students for MBC2's 2 Minute Movies competition earlier this year.

The three winners of the competition will be announced at the DIFF awards ceremony Saturday.