release date April 24 2015
Arab Cinema Center Lands Its Second Edition at Cannes Film Festival
Following a successful launching at Berlin International Film Festival, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is going forward with its second step through the Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May, 2015). The center continues to provide new spaces for the Arab cinema through its venue in the Film Market of the festival (Le Marché du Film) which boasts 17 film companies and organizations from 8 Arab and European countries. MAD Solutions is organizing this Arab congregation in line with its long-term strategy to support and promote Arab filmmaking industry in the Arab world.

In the second edition of the ACC, 17 film companies and organizations are participating and whose activities range from production, distribution to support and promotion of the Arab cinema: Film Clinic (Egypt), The Imaginarium Films (Jordan), The Producers (Egypt, the UAE), Crystal Dog (Egypt), The International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva (Switzerland), The Friends (Egypt), Seat 26 (Lebanon), True Motion (Egypt), Robert Bosch Stiftung Foundation (Germany), Cinema Akil (UAE), Silk Road Film Festival (Ireland), Luxor's African Film Festival's Etisal Fund (Egypt), Ministry of Interior's Cinema Awards (the UAE), Salam PROD (Egypt), Iraqi Independent Film Center (Iraq), Free TV (Egypt) and MAD Solutions (Egypt, the UAE).

MAD Solutions' CEO Alaa Karkouti described the ACC as the first-of-its-kind Arab congregation to be present at international film festivals.

"Launching at the Berlin International Film Festival was a successful foundational step on all fronts, a matter which encouraged us to be launching the second edition at Cannes Film Festival which has the world's largest film market. We are planning to be present at other festivals for the sake of providing diverse and broad opportunities to the Arab cinema all over the world. ACC will be setting an annual agenda at international festivals, and its top priority will be being present at the Berlin International Film Festival as fixed start for our cinematic season and then we will be moving forward with our spread,"Karkouti added.

Maher Diab, Co-founder and Art Director at MAD Solutions, expressed his excitement about the ACC in a statement saying, "We were fortunate to have a great start at Berlinale, and, with our partners, we're confident that great starts could result with great success stories for future ACC installations to come. Our initiative is not only a must for the Arab film industry; it's a must for the global film industry. A huge potential is being unveiled to the world of cinema."

Colin Brown, Managing Partner and Director of International Operations of MAD Solutions, also commented, "Issues of identity are as complex as they have ever been in the Arab world, there is no one-size-fits-all Arab cinema, but rather an individualistic array of stories, idioms and personalities that draw as much from the world at large as they do from national cinema traditions. The shape-shifting, globalized nature of Arab filmmaking today is why our Arab Cinema Center makes so much sense: we serve as a focal point amid all the Cannes festival and market madness for reaching out to those at the fluid forefront of a New Arab Wave. The fact that Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the UAE and Iraq can come under the same umbrella as Switzerland, Ireland and German speaks volumes about the international cross-fertilization that is now occurring. What unites them is an impassioned interest in building a sustainable, worldwide audience for Arab-centric films, in whatever forms those stories might take."

Abdallah Al Shami, Managing Partner of MAD's GCC Bureau clarified, "When we were approached by Cannes Film Festival to replicate our Berlinale experience there, we realised that the ACC is beyond a physical space where Arab filmmakers and ACC partners congregate with film industry professionals from around the world. The ACC is a responsibility towards a global community that is keen in maintaining a cultural dialogue with the Arab world. It's a duty we don't take lightly."

ACC is a professional platform for promoting Arab cinema at international film festivals, access Arab filmmakers to communicate with the cinema industry all over the world through its diverse events and activities. The ACC also functions as a professional medium for Arab filmmakers to explore and network with the international film industry professionals, production companies' representatives, distribution slates and organizations investing in co-productions.

The activities of the ACC will range from market screenings for Arabic films, meetings with international film companies and organization during the period of the festival to throwing a reception and issuing an ACC guide to be distributed on the participants of the festival's market.

The Cannes Film Festival's Film Market is the largest film market in the world as the number of participating films last year reached 960. The Film Market was established in 1959 to serve all the circles in the cinema industry. Annually, the market attracts more than 10,000 filmmakers representing the Cinema in more than 100 countries. This year's market will be held from May 13th to May 22nd 2015.