Dubai Film and TV Commission unveils white paper in partnership with Oliver Wyman

Today was a hectic day and while fluttering between work, the women’s exhibition at DWTC and Christmas cakes at Bloomsbury’s, I was not able to be part of the DIFF events. Especially one with Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) and its partnership with Oliver Wyman, who today released a white paper examining key areas for growth and investment in the Middle East and North Africa media production market.

The white paper addresses recommendations on how countries in the region can build world-class media ecosystems. DFTC commissioned the white paper to help inform its strategic approach to developing a robust media industry.

The white paper, entitled Opportunities and Challenges in the Middle East and North Africa Media Production Market, revealed that Arabic content production is still below its fullest potential, and presents the biggest opportunity for growth in the Middle East media production market.  It found that although Arabic is the sixth world language in terms of GDP, there is still a significant lack of Arabic media content. Between 2005 and 2010, the Middle East contributed only 0.72% of the films produced in the world. Furthermore, Arabic film and TV production represent only 0.03% of GDP in the Middle East and North Africa – well below comparable markets elsewhere.

Several countries within the MENA region are taking the initiative to boost and strengthen their media industries, particularly in the Gulf.  The white paper revealed Dubai’s strong potential to become a global media production hub meeting the highest industry standards, thanks to its focus on building the required production infrastructure and services that are fundamental to a vibrant media ecosystem.

The case study on Dubai highlights the emirate’s achievements to date in the areas of production infrastructure, such as the state-of-the-art sound stages at Dubai Studio City and the creation of the Dubai Film and TV Commission, which provides the necessary framework to ease the production process for filmmakers. The paper also underlined the competitive advantages of Dubai’s diverse locations, city infrastructure and safety.

Among these findings, three key actions stood out which could dramatically change Dubai’s global position and help take it to the next level: improving access to talent by offering longer-term residency to production crew; developing more formalised film incentives; and improving TV audience measurement across the region. According to the paper, if Dubai develops and implements such changes, its position as an internationally renowned media production hub would strengthen and progress dramatically.

DIFF Sets The Stage For A Thrilling Week Of Films and Events

With Ayesha as DIFF gets launched by the seaside 🙂

It’s that time of the year when DIFF reveals the entertainment bonanza they have in store for us. Notice how I have refrained from saying time of the month – I thought it was safer since in PMS mode, I have bitten off even heads this week of people who have crossed the line with me one way or another.

This year, DIFF has over 160 films from 61 countries, in 43 languages featuring 52 World Premieres, 14 International Premieres, 73 Middle East Premieres and 17 GCC Premieres.

DIFF embarks on 8 days of the very best of film, industry events and star-gazing red-carpets with Academy Award Winners Ang Lee’s long-awaited 3D adaptation of the hugely popular Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi opening the Festival on Sunday, 9th December. This year’s DIFF promises to offer something for everyone, with a selection of diverse films, from sneak previews of giant-budget Hollywood films to independent films that are breaking new ground, films from first-time filmmakers though to the greatest directors of all time.

From December 9 to 16, the Festival’s nightly red carpet gala screenings will see the Arabian premieres of the critically acclaimed film Bekas from Karzan Kadar and the culturally groundbreaking Wadjda by Haiffa Al Mansour. The Cinema of the World galas include some of the most anticipated films of the year including Hitchcock, starring Award Winners Antony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, the 3D adventure Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or masterpiece Amour and the triumphant true story The Sapphires which will close the Festival.

The Gala premiere representing the Asia Africa Programe is World War II Epic Back to 1942 from prolific director Feng Xiaogang. DIFF’s afternoon gala for younger film fans is the World Premiere of the magical adventure Journey to the Christmas Star.

I just got home and started flipping through the programme. Would love to tell you more but after a pretty long and emotionally exhausting day, I think I will offer more information about DIFF in the days to come. Watch this space 🙂