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Dubai Filmmart set for expansion

The Dubai Film Market’s trading platform Filmmart wraps this weekend following a successful fifth edition with several acquisitions under negotiation and plans for expansion next year.

Filmmart’s Cinetech video library had registered 1,040 screenings as of the close of business on Friday (Dec 14), which was the busiest day with 282 screenings.

The most viewed film was When Monaliza Smiled, which has been sold to Morocco (see separate story), followed by Half Emirati, Bekas, Chaos, Disorder and short film Baghdad Messi. The Great North Korean Picture Show and Back To 1942 were the most popular non-Arab films.

Kurdish drama Bekas, sold internationally by TrustNordisk, was among the films attracting strong distributor interest; negotiations are underway to sell the film to the Middle East and Italy. German distributors are circling further titles.

“The market is becoming more efficient and professional - people are having serious discussions,” Dubai Film Market’s Pascal Diot said.

Diot added that the market will also make a major push to expand the number of exhibitors next year, following a trial run of five exhibition booths for the first time this year. The Dubai-based Khaleeji French Film and TV Office has already committed to hosting a French pavilion at Dubai Film Market in 2013.

The market also plans to expand the participation of the animation industry at next year’s event, as well as introduce seminars on the legal aspects of international co-production, which is still in the early stages of development in the Middle East.

Diot added that the market’s consultancy services, which gives local producers access to international film industry experts, proved popular. Consultants this year included Sarah Calderon of marketing agency The Film Agency, legal expert Marc Emmanuel Vuaillat, script consultant Mary Davies and VFX consultant Damien Maric.

“The most numerous requests were for help with marketing, international sales and distribution,” said Diot. “Producers in the region are still looking at how to market and distribute their films.”

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