release date November 23 2016
Arab Cinema LAB Launched to Attract Investment Into Tomorrow's Hottest Arab Film Projects
The 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) will witness the launch of the ARAB CINEMA LAB. Organized independently by MAD Solutions, the LAB is a first-of-its-kind film financing incubator for accelerating the new film projects and new business ideas that will drive the Arab film industry forward over the coming year. By bringing together a select group of filmmakers, creative producers, funders, distributors and broadcasters, the mission is to open new paths to production for the most promising Arab storytellers by showcasing their upcoming work and laying the groundwork for a more robust investment culture.

To be held within the Dubai Film Market (DFM), the event will take place on Monday December 12th, at the Arena Theatre in Madinat Jumeirah, the festival's headquarters, from 10 AM to 1 PM. A highly curated, invitation-only extension of the Arab Cinema Center, the inaugural LAB will feature exclusive footage from a selection of the most highly anticipated Arab film projects that are currently in various stages of development and production. These are the productions that will be the talk of the Arab cinema world next year once they are unveiled as completed films on the international festival circuit and in movie-houses throughout 2017 and beyond.

Interspersed among these sneak previews will be a stimulating programme of brisk keynote presentations from leading industry figures that will be focused on building and fast-tracking a sustainable, self-sufficient ecosystem for Arab filmmakers.

"Like the best laboratories, Arab Cinema LAB has been designed as both a testing ground and launchpad for what's next," commented Colin Brown, Managing Partner and Director of International Operations at MAD Solutions, who will also be facilitating the LAB as master of ceremonies. "When you examine the risk/reward profile for Arab feature films on a macro level you see a golden opportunity for private financiers - if only there was a more user-friendly business environment through which to invest and lend with greater confidence. The LAB wants to create just such a climate by introducing investors to some of the most attractive film propositions currently in the works while at the same time illuminating them on the state of the Arab film market."

Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti, CEO and Co-founder of MAD, also explained: "There are still so many unanswered questions about Arab cinema. What is the size of investment in Arab films every year? What are the investment returns and levels of profitability? What is the big picture for financiers if the Arab film marketplace is allowed to achieve its full potential? Now, through the Arab Cinema Lab, we can provide answers to those fundamental issues for the first time. In selecting our Arab films for this showcase, we deliberately chose projects from many different Arab countries in order to demonstrate the huge range, exciting commerciality and audience-building potential that exists across the entire Arab-speaking world. We want the investments to be as diverse as Arab cinema itself. We also believe that the more we can draw investors to the most viable projects and filmmakers, the more the door will open to new talents. We need to create a better climate."