META Cinema Forum, the biggest cinema conference in the Middle East and Africa, is to go ahead as a hybrid event for its third edition from October 27-28.
The event, previously known as the MENA Cinema Forum, has also been retitled to reflect its coverage of the entire African continent following a pact with the Pan African Film Consortium (it previously only covered North Africa).
The two-day conference will maintain a physical presence at Dubai’s VOX Cinemas, where exhibition executives from the region will deliver presentations and participate in panel discussions. But the event will also stream the events online for those unable to attend due to ongoing virus crisis.
Leila Masinaei, META Cinema Forum conference director, said the event would “highlight the plan for projects in the region, the recovery phase for the cinema industry, and content diversification”.
Discussions will include a look at the effect of Covid-19 on the cinema industry and plans for recovery with panellists including John Iozzi, CEO and managing director of AMC Cinemas KSA, and Phil Clapp, chief executive of the UK Cinema Association.
Other panels will explore how event cinema can fill the shortfall in new theatrical releases; if theatres need to be retrofitted to create Covid-safe viewing environments; and a look at how the sector has been impacted by delayed releases.
This year’s forum has also been made free-to-attend.