EXCLUSIVE: First title to be released under the deal is The Double.

Cairo-based distribution and marketing outfit MAD Solutions has signed an output deal with Front Row Filmed Entertainment to handle the regional distributor’s films in Egypt.

The first title to be released under the deal is Richard Ayoade’s The Double, which is scheduled for release by the end of May. Other upcoming titles include The Wind Rises, Dom Hemingway, Blood Ties and Welcome To The Jungle.

Egypt has seen box office decline due to political turmoil and limits foreign releases to 10 screens. But MAD co-founder Alaa Karkouti said the market still has potential if films are handled in the right way.

“It’s a case of not just throwing films in cinemas any more but about carefully positioning each title,” said Karkouti.

MAD has also acquired theatrical rights for the Arab world to Hany Abu Assad’s award-winning drama Omar from Arab Radio and Television (ART).

The film, which premiered in Cannes last year, will be released day-and-date in eight Arab countries – GCC (except Saudi Arabia), Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine – in August, following Ramadan.

The cast and crew will be in attendance at premieres in Cairo, Dubai and Amman, Jordan. “We are positioning the film as a thriller rather than a love story or a political film,” said Karkouti.

MAD is building a pan-Arab distribution network for Arab and international films. It also aims to create a market for the new wave of award-winning independent Arab films, which currently have limited distribution across the region.

The company has already forged a reputation for innovative, cost-effective marketing on recent releases such as Mohamed Khan’s Factory Girl and Ahmad Abdallah’s Rags And Tatters.