release date June 29 2020
Raya Abirached Moderates a Panel Discussion on the Future of the Arab Festivals during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of international film festivals and events have been canceled, delayed, or modified this year. But what about Arab festivals? Are there alternative solutions to deal with the situation and maintain stability in the Arab film industry? This was discussed by the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) at a panel discussion, moderated by TV personality Raya Abirached and attended by presidents and directors of Arab and international film festivals.

To watch the panel discussion:

The panel discussion was attended by: Mohamed Hefzy , President of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Intishal Al Tamimi, Director of El Gouna Film Festival, Elias Khlat, Founder and Director of Tripoli Film Festival, Nada Doumani, Representative of Amman International Film Festival - Awal Film, Fatma Cherif,Director of Gabes Cinema Fen, Jad Abi-Khalil, Presidentof Beirut DC, Sonja Heinen, Managing Director of European Film Promotion (EFP), Vincenzo Bugno, Directorof World Cinema Fund, and Alaa Karkouti and Abdallah Al Shami, Managing Partners of the Arab Cinema Center (ACC).

The panelists discussed questions regarding the possibility of cooperation between Arab film festivals to help maintain their stability and activities, the impact of the current situation on those who work in the film industry, and the role of regional institutions in providing the needed support. They also discussed the presence of the content on which these festivals mainly depend, in addition to the virtual film screenings and its impact on the film industry.

Organized by MAD Solutions in 2015, the Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is a nonprofit organization registered in Amsterdam. The ACC is 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. The ACC also provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others. The ACC's activities vary between film markets, stands, and pavilions, networking sessions and one-on-one meetings bringing together 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.

Furthermore, newsletter subscription is now available on the ACC's website, allowing users to obtain digital copies of the Arab Cinema Magazine, as well as news on the ACC's activities, notifications of application dates for grants, festivals and offers from educational and training institutions, updates on Arab films participating at festivals, exclusive news on the Arab Cinema LAB, and highlights from the ACC's partners and their future projects.

The ACC also launched an English-language Arab Cinema Guide, available on its website, which is a comprehensive cinematic guide that comprises a variety of tools presented collectively for the first time to offer information on Arab cinema to filmmakers inside and outside of the Arab world. It also aims to facilitate filmmakers' access to international markets and help film industry representatives to easily identify Arab film productions.