Independent cinema is not a purely artistic work.. It needs good planning to become profitable

2024-02-20 11:54:15

Cinema in the Arab world is still facing limited financing and production, especially with the financial crises that are afflicting the world’s economies, and the tendencies of investors to invest their money in profitable and low-risk projects. A film that does not achieve commercial profits is a losing film for production companies, amid limited sources of funding and the ability to Reaching a broader base of film festival audiences.

To discuss these topics, the CNN-Al-Eqtisadiah podcast hosted Nayla Al Khaja, the first Emirati woman in the field of film production and direction, whose first feature film, “Film Three,” which participated in the Red Sea Film Festival, is being screened today.

The film is shown in seven countries and about 120 theaters.

Al Khaja said that distribution is one of the basic pillars of success, stressing that expanding the geographical area of ​​film distribution is one of its strategies to ensure returns and reduce risks.

She added, “Not every independent film is non-commercial. Cinema is not a performance art, but rather a show business, and the film industry requires planning, intelligence, and a good strategy to recover the cost of production and achieve returns.”

The production of the film “Three”, which cost $2.5 million, was jointly financed by Al Khaja, Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki, Mona Eis Al Gurg, and Jean-Charles Lévy as executive producer.

Al Khaja noticed interest from local investors in filmmaking – especially after the screening of the film “Three” – and revealed that she was able to secure the full financing value for her second film, “Bab”, which will begin filming later this year.

She pointed out that the Arab countries suffer from a disintegration in cinematic culture, which limits the capacity of the market and the ability of Arabic-language films to achieve widespread distribution.

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In light of the need to increase content production, Al Khaja praised the efforts made by Saudi Arabia and the expansionary spending in the infrastructure of this sector, stressing that cinema today represents a golden opportunity for investment and the opportunities available in this field must be taken advantage of.

She stressed that the film industry is not yet a priority in the UAE, despite the opportunities and returns that this industry represents on culture and the economy, especially the tourism sector, through interest and technical support from the federal government to revitalize the sector and establish the incentives and structural and organizational components necessary to advance Growing forward.

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