EXCLUSIVE: In a ground-breaking deal, the Kuwait National Cinema Company (KNCC) and Dubai-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment have jointly acquired worldwide rights to popular Egyptian comedian Ahmed Helmy’s next film.

“We did the deal directly with the actor,” said Front Row managing director Gianluca Chakra.

The companies plan to release the as-yet-untitled film theatrically across the Arab world and additionally tap into expat Arab communities in Europe, the US and Latin America with targeted day-and-date releases.

“We’re looking to do a Magnolia type release internationally. It’s the first time this has been done with an Arab film,” explained Chakra, referring to US distributor and day-and-date pioneer Magnolia Pictures.

“We pretty sure it’s going to find an audience in these territories,” he added. “Over here it will go wide like any of Helmy’s other films.”

Chakra and KNCC chief Hisham F. Al Ghanim said they would most likely distribute the title through local distributors in each territory but that the strategy had yet to be finalised. 

In other news, Front Row and KNCC also announced the creation of a Dubai-based digital lab, Front Row Digital, offering editing and digitising facilities.