Sales at 2010 Dubai Filmart Increase 60% From 2009

Event assisted in the sales of a record 224 global films.

CANNES -- The Middle East remains as a region on the rise for filmmakers despite the current political and societal turmoil.

The Dubai Film Market organizers said last year’s edition of the Dubai Filmmart, held in December 2010, assisted sales for a record 224 films from around the world, a 60% increase from its 2009 edition.

The Filmmart hosts 3,193 screenings in 2010, with more than 750 industry buyers from 60 nations attending.

Dubai Filmmart director Ziad Yaghi said: “The 60% increase and feedback from our partners reflects growing global interest particularly in Arab cinema, in addition to Asian and African cinema. We are proud to play a role in taking Arab cinema to global audiences, opening regional doors for international content, and to facilitate B2B trade.”

Dubai International Film Festival managing director Shivani Pandya added: “The volume of trade in Festival films – particularly Arab, Asian and African cinema, our core areas of expertise – as well as non-Festival films is evidence of the Dubai Film Market emerging as a standalone business destination for international and regional buyers and sellers of film.”

Arab cinema starting their push out globally from the Dubai market include SBS Television Australia’s acquisition of Lebanese drama Stray Bullet by George Hachem and The House Under the Water by Sepideh Farsi.

Market regular Fortissimo Films took on Egyptian drama 678, as it went on tour of festivals in Rotterdam, Berlin, Geneva and New York.

Nicole Mackey, EVP of Sales and Acquisitions at Fortissimo Films said: “People want to hear the stories behind today’s Egypt and see the real lives of people across the Middle East, and 678’s success is a prime example."

Fortissimo has sold the title for France (Pyramide), Spain (Golem), Portugal (Lusomundo), and Brazil (Imovision).

Major deals involving regional content leaders include: Shoreline Entertainment’s (USA) sale of Middle Eastern distribution rights to Phoenicia Pictures International for 11 feature films, including Story of Bonnie & Clyde starring Hillary Duff.