release date April 05 2017
Film Clinic Co-organizes an Open Seminar Entitled Creative Production and Alternative Distribution

In collaboration with Film Independent, the Arab Film Institute and the US Embassy in Cairo, Film Clinic presents an open seminar entitled Creative Production and Alternative Distribution on Thursday, April 6 at 6:00 for two hours at the Greek Campus - The American University in Cairo (AUC). The seminar is going to be presented by American producer Nicolas Gonda (Voyage of Time - The Tree of Life), American Distributor Richard Matson(Hunt For The Wilderpeople - Neruda), Producer/Screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy(Film Clinic) and Distributor/ Film Analyst Alaa Karkouti(MAD Solutions - Arab Cinema Center).

The seminar aims to encourage the emergence of talented Egyptian producers, supports diversity in Egyptian film, and provides alternative U.S. and Egyptian models for production and distribution.To attend the seminar, kindly send an email confirming your attendance to or

Nicolas Gonda began his film career at Focus Features, working on the publicity, marketing, and worldwide distribution of a number of Academy Award-winning films such as The Pianist, Lost in Translation, Brokeback Mountain and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In 2005, he joined the production of Terrence Malick's The New World, where he served as the Music Supervisor and oversaw elements of the film's post-production. His producing credits include The Tree of Life, Oscar nominee for Best Picture, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and recently honored by BBC as one of the top 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century; To the Wonder starring Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams; Knight of Cups starring Christian Bale, Cate Blanchet and Natalie Portman; Voyage of Time narrated by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; Song to Song starring Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Michael Fassbender and the upcoming Friday's Child starring Tye Sheridan and Imogen Poots.

Gonda is also a Managing Partner of Ironwood Entertainment, a development, production and financing company focused on premium independent content for a global audience. Recent titles include Rodrigo Garcia's Last Days in the Desert starring Ewan McGregor, and Things People Do starring Wes Bentley and Jason Isaacs.

Richard Matson is the Vice President, Theatrical Distribution at The Orchard - an independent film, TV and music distribution company that operates in over 25 global markets. The company, founded as a music distributor in 1997, is a groundbreaking leader in the film and television distribution space, known for its innovative technology that provides filmmakers with up-to-the minute trending data and analytics on their projects. The Orchard's film division has enjoyed such recent successes as the Academy Award-nominated documentaries Cartel Land and Life, Animated. Taika Waititi's The Hunt For The Wilder people, Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville's The Music Of Strangers, and Pablo Larrain's Golden Globe-nominated Neruda.

Over the past 18 years, Richard has also served as a partner in the Theatrical-on-Demand pioneer, Gathr Films, a board member for World Cinema Online, Vice President of Distribution at Anywhere Road, and Head of Distribution for Palisades Pictures. In 2002, he founded Transmission Films, the third largest online distributor in the world during the medium's first generation.

Richard attended Hampshire College, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and graduated from Columbia College.

Mohamed Hefzy is an Egyptian screenwriter and producer who has produced and co-produced 27 feature films in Egypt, the US, the UK, and the Arab world. In 2013, Screen International named him as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. His productions to date, including drama, comedy, thriller, documentary, and art house features, have participated widely in film festivals and won numerous international awards. Hefzy has served as a jury member and artistic director of Egyptian and Arab film festivals, and has represented independent filmmakers at the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013.

In addition to writing and producing, Hefzy has played a role in film distribution too, so in 2016; he founded Film Clinic-Indie Distribution (FCID), which distributed the films Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim by Sherif El Bendary, Withered Green by Mohammed Hammad and Barakah Meets Barakah by Mahmoud Sabbagh.

Hefzy is an active participant and speaker in several regional and international festivals, and served on many international, the last of which was at the Berlinale 2017 and Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in 2016. He was also a jury member at the 2010 Cairo International Film Festival, Tropfest Arabia in Abu Dhabi in November 2011 and Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2012. Hefzy has delivered lectures on scriptwriting and moderated several workshops at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and also through Film Clinic including the Virtual Cloud Filmmaking Salon workshop, which was supported by the AUC, with the aim of empowering young filmmakers to make their films by using easily available mobile devices and internet technology.

Alaa Karkouti is a renowned Film Analyst and an influential professional within the cinema and entertainment industry in the Arab world, known for his efforts in assembling complete statistical and analytical archives on the economics of filmmaking.

Through MAD Solutions, Karkouti contributed to distributing Arab films ranging from long and short features to documentaries that have found their place on the international scene, including director Naji Abu Nowar's feature film Theeb, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, and the Academy Award nominated short film Ave Maria by director Basil Khalil, in addition to films that have participated in international festivals and were screened around the world and in the Arab world, such as Factory Girl by Mohammed Khan, Rags and Tatters by director Ahmed Abdullah, 3000 Nights by Mai Masri, Hedi by Mohamed Ben Attia, Foreign Body by Raja Amari, Go Home by Jihane Chouaib, and the short film Kindil el Bahr by Damien Ounouri.

In 2015, Karouti launched the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) through MAD Solutions as an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides the filmmaking industry with a professional window to connect with their counterparts from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes. ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The Arab Cinema Center's activities vary between film market main wings, introduction and networking sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, as well as meetings with international organizations and festivals, and the issuance of the Arab Cinema Magazine to be distributed at the leading international film festivals and markets.

As a Film Analyst, Karkouti has written about the Arab film industry in a number of renowned publications specializing in both cinema and economics, such as Forbes Middle East, Variety and Screen International among others.