Mid East Banner Front Row Recruits Former Disney Exec to Aid Production Push

Credit: Front Row
Nicolas Torloting

Nicolas Torloting joins as COO of the company, which has already announced an Arab-language remake of Italian hit 'Perfect Strangers.' 

Growing Middle East banner Front Row Film Entertainment is amping up its move from distribution into production and development with the hire of Nicolas Torloting as COO. 

Torloting, who spent more than 15 years at Disney, will take over all day-to-day operations at the company, with Front Row's president Hisham AlGhanim and CEO Gianluca Chakra continuing to oversee all local and international acquisitions. 

The French national occupied key roles in finance, business development and strategy at Disney, before taking on the senior manager role for EMEA markets. In 1999, he moved to the Middle East, joining Saudi entity Disney Jawa Enterprise, a joint venture between Disney and the Saudi Jawa family, which was the first international entertainment company in the MENA region. While there, Torloting acted as its managing director of entertainment, running offices in Saudi Arabia, UAE and the rest of the Middle East.

Front Row has made several key hires of late, including former Sony and Fox exec Eli Touma as marketing and acquisitions director, and Micallar Walker-Smith, who previously served as head of events at Picturehouse in the U.K.

“I’ve known Gianluca and Hisham for over 15 years and saw their growth throughout, building an impressive setup making Front Row the most innovative and successful film distribution company in the Middle East," said Torloting.

"They’ve pioneered the VOD phenomenon, the aggregation deals with Apple and Google and worldwide sales to global platforms of local language products. With the opening of the Saudi market into the theatrical world and the quick and continuous market shifts, I believe that the Middle East and North Africa theatrical, TV and VOD markets will expand strongly in the upcoming years."

Added Chakra: "Nicolas’ experience and wealth of knowledge especially in markets like Saudi will be key in expanding into that territory. We have already started acquiring IPs for local remakes, be it for television or feature films. A number of projects are currently in development stage, including the Arabic language remake of the Italian smash hit Perfect Strangers as well as a couple of high concept international features which will be announced later on this year."