Clara Armanious to Represent the UAE at the Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy 2024

Clara Armanious, a senior student studying Strategic Communication and Marketing at Murdoch University Dubai, to represent the UAE at the exclusive Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy 2024


Established in 2003, The Roger Hatchuel Student Academy—an initiative of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity—offers graduating advertising and creative communications students a unique opportunity to gain deeper insights into the global creative landscape and kickstart their careers in advertising through a comprehensive six-day program.


Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan, official UAE representatives for the Cannes Lions Festival, are delighted to announce that Clara Armanious, a senior student studying Strategic Communication and Marketing at Murdoch University Dubai, has been selected to represent the UAE at the prestigious Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy 2024.


Clara was selected based on her submissions, which underwent review by the Roger Hatchuel Academy Jury Panel – a diverse mix of global creative industry experts.


Commenting on being chosen to be a part of this year’s Roger Hatchuel Academy, Clara said, “Call me a dreamer, but ever since I was a little girl, my world has been filled with a love for creativity and communication—from doodling in my notebooks to capturing moments through my camera lens. I always had a passion for communicating and connecting with people. If you had told me that this is what I would be doing, I would not have believed it.”


“Representing the UAE at the esteemed Roger Hatchuel Academy at the Cannes Lions is an honor and a milestone that will forever hold a special place in my heart. This would have never been possible without the support of my Murdoch University Dubai family. A special thank you to my professor Mr. Joseph John Nalloor, who has guided me through it all and always believed in me. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity and excited to feed my creative algorithm and embark on this journey,” she added.


Acknowledging Clara’s selection for the 2024 Roger Hatchuel Academy program, Joseph John Nalloor, lead of the Media and Communications discipline at Murdoch University Dubai said, “It’s a proud moment for us at Murdoch University Dubai that our communications student Clara Armanious will be representing UAE at the prestigious Roger Hatchuel Academy 2024 at the Cannes Lions Festival 2024. It’s a great honor for our student to be selected and it is a reflection of our strong industry-academic partnership that we have in place for our communication students.”


“It will be a great learning experience for Clara and an inspiration for other UAE students to strive for excellence on a global platform. We want to thank the festival, the RHA, Ian Fairservice, Motivate Media Group, Avinash Udeshi and Sahal Valliyot from the Motivate Val Morgan team for their constant support and for encouraging young talent in the region,” he added.


Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner, Motivate Media Group, said “Congratulations to Clara Armanious from Murdoch University Dubai for her selection to represent the UAE at the 2024 Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy. I’m sure Clara will display her remarkable talent and shine a spotlight on the vibrant creative landscape of the UAE.”


The Roger Hatchuel Academy representative class of 2024 will comprise 30 students, selected from around the world to participate in a six-day program covering areas such as introduction to the creative industry, professional development, personal brand enhancement, and much more. They will learn first-hand from the world’s greatest brands, creative minds, and industry leaders.


This year’s Academy will run in parallel to the Cannes Lions Festival from 16th – 21st June 2024 in Cannes, France. Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan extend their best wishes to Clara Armanious, hoping that her experience at the Academy will foster a positive and creative impact on her future endeavors in the industry.




MVM-VOX | Private Screening | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3

Motivate Val Morgan, in partnership with VOX Cinemas recently hosted an exclusive private screening of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 at Mall of the Emirates.


The event, attended by over 150 agency and direct clients, offered attendees an immersive cinematic experience in the Dolby Atmos auditorium, and a specially curated ad showcase playlist and preshow.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 at VOX Cinemas


Avinash Udeshi, COO of Motivate Val Morgan, opened the event with a speech, providing  valuable insights into the cinema industry’s resurgence since the pandemic. Ten lucky invitees discovered complimentary luxury movie passes concealed under their seats, while kids in attendance were presented with complimentary movie passes to watch a movie of their preference.


Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to VOX Cinemas for their invaluable support in organizing and executing this screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. We also extend our gratitude to all the guests in attendance for making this event a truly memorable experience.


Stay tuned for future ‘Private Screenings’ in the UAE and in our other markets.


Contact us for cinema advertising opportunities.

Motivate Val Morgan Launches Audience Based Cinema Buying Platform

The newly launched platform has the capability to offer data and insight driven audience based cinema buying across Motivate Val Morgan’s network of cinemas in the Middle East.


Motivate Val Morgan, the leading cinema advertising company in the Middle East has launched a dedicated platform – CinePlan and CineMeasure, through which advertisers can plan and measure their cinema campaigns with ease.

CinePlan is a tool that can be utilized to build a cinema media plan based on advertiser requirements, and offers two routes: By Admission and By Package. The By Package route presents advertisers with the option to book existing pre-designed packages sold by Motivate Val Morgan, while the By Admission route is a new extension to the existing bouquet of cinema advertising offerings, where advertisers can define their advertising reach at cinema locations of preference.

CineMeasure is a post campaign measurement tool that works seamlessly with CinePlan to analyze and report admission data for an executed campaign.

Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner, Motivate Media Group, said, “As the region’s leading cinema advertising company, with over twenty-three years of regional experience, we are committed to constantly improve and innovate our offerings. The launch of CinePlan and CineMeasure marks a significant milestone for Motivate Val Morgan, as it establishes a first-to-market platform through a self-service model, a major focus for the company as we look to empower advertisers and provide autonomous cinema planning and measurement.”

The platform will add exceptional value for advertisers as it has the capability to offer data and insight driven audience-based buying across Motivate Val Morgan’s network of cinemas in the region, improving accountability and transparency to address concerns on cinema audience measurement, a byproduct of the pandemic.

Avinash Udeshi, Chief Operating Officer, Motivate Val Morgan commented, “While being a market leader, we have always had a consultative approach in terms of buying and delivering on campaign objectives. Through this platform, we will offer the same total flexibility and convenience to advertisers and agency planners, with admission data from the cinema box office. Thus, cinema advertising can now be further planned, bought, and measured through a simple yet comprehensive dashboard. The system has the capability to buy audience by numbers, demography, and income groups, right down to a granular level of an individual screen at a particular location.”

Advertisers can leverage CinePlan and CineMeasure to connect the dots between ad exposure and a campaign’s outcome.


Promo/Launch Video:


Visit: Motivate Val Morgan to start planning your cinema advertising campaign.

Saudi Arabia – A Booming Cinema Market in the GCC

As multiple cinema exhibitors around the world have started to reopen doors to patrons, and cinemas across the GCC having already welcomed more than 5 million moviegoers in 2021, the Saudi Arabia cinema market continues to grow, with the Kingdom well on track to realising the goal of Vision 2030 – open more than 350 cinemas with 2,600 screens.


Saudi Arabia officially opened its cinematic market in 2018 with the launch of its first cinema by AMC, post its 35-year ban.  The initiative was a part of Saudi’s 2030 vision of development towards the economic and social sectors.

In promoting culture and entertainment, one of the goals of Vision 2030 is for the government to specifically attract local investors and create partnerships with international entertainment corporations to develop a market of SAR 30 billion in recreational services, with SAR 10 billion solely for the development of the cinema sector in Saudi Arabia, which is projected to directly contribute SAR 1 billion to the GDP.

Since the opening of the first cinema by AMC Cinemas at King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in April 2018, followed by VOX Cinemas opening the second location at Riyadh Park Mall in May 2018, Saudi Arabia witnessed exponential growth in 2019, with a total of eleven 11 cinemas and 103 screens by the end of the year.

At the start of 2020 (prior to the COVID-19 lockdown), three more cinemas opened its doors to moviegoers in the city of Riyadh and Dammam, increasing the totals to 14 locations and 134 screens. When cinemas reopened post the lockdown in UAE and Saudi Arabia in June 2020 – with strict sanitisation and social distancing protocols in place, Saudi Arabia continued to expand its cinema landscape, adding 14 more locations and 130 screens across the country.

As of June 2021, Saudi Arabia has a total of 33 locations and 309 screens, proving to be GCC’s booming cinema market at present.


Saudi Arabia - Cinema Collage


The latest Saudi issue by Campaign Middle EastSaudi Arabia Report 2021, has brought together the creative and marketing talent of Saudi Arabia to produce a catalogue of the media landscape in the Kingdom, and also shines light on Saudi’s post-COVID cinema landscape.

Access the complete cinema report and read what Avinash Udeshi, Chief Operating Officer, Motivate Val Morgan and representatives from leading cinema exhibitors in Saudi Arabia have to say about the unprecedented potential for growth in the country.



Sources: PWC, Arab news, The National and Arabian Business



The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cinema – by Avinash Udeshi

Motivate Val Morgan’s Chief Operating Officer, Avinash Udeshi looks at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Cinema and how it will change this industry in the long term.


“I’ll be back!”

This iconic dialogue from the Terminator series comes to my mind when asked to write about the state of cinema as a medium post the COVID-19 imposed lockdown.

Cinemas, globally as well here in the Middle East, have been asked to stop operating by their respective governments. We and similar organizations thus face a serious challenge as business has come to a 100% standstill.

We are currently working from home attending to the administrative side of the business, keeping in regular contact with cinema operators, agencies & advertisers and working on pre and post-opening strategies.

While in business we are pursuing prudence on reductions where possible, we cannot deny that there is serious pressure on operational costs as cash flow management is affected by delay in collections. Luckily, we are blessed to have great partners who are supporting us as much as they can, sometimes the agencies even pay us prior to receiving the dues from their clients, and a terrific core management team that believes in protecting the work force for the day when things start to take a turn for the better.

As we have always seen, any event brings out polarizing views. In the recent weeks, we have heard doomsayers predicting the death of movie theatres and the rise of streaming services as a complete replacement. The entire incident with Trolls: Word Tour – an animated movie set to release in cinemas before the pandemic hit, being directly released on VOD has cinemas at loggerheads with Universal Studios.

The negative voices become louder when there is news that some of the smaller cinema chains or standalone movie theatres are going to close down. Yes, there will be closures but not because of the death of the medium, but instead due to a lack of liquidity or higher operational costs within these individual businesses. These pressures on profits existed even before the forced COVID-19 closures. These are the same challenges as with any other business, where the objective is higher demand and lower operational costs, in which rents play a very significant role.


Avinash Udeshi, Chief Operating Office of Motivate Val Morgan on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cinema


In the end, let us not forget that ‘Movie Theatrical Release’ is a very successful business, and that even amid fears of competition from streaming and other media, worldwide box office revenues in 2019 reached a new global record of $42.5B, as reported by Comscore. The other rights viz. Cable, VOD, DVD etc. contribute a substantial revenue for the Studios but that is post the revenue derived from cinemas. Thus the cinema business model will continue to thrive, with KSA and China continuing to multiply their screen count. All of these “viewing outlets” will continue to live in harmony with each other and one cannot/will not be replaced by the other.

My personal opinion too is that we as humans are a very resilient race and our ability to accept hardships as a new normal has always shone through. I, for one, despaired hopelessly when wearing a mask as mandated while going for a daily walk on day one, but by the third day accepted this as a standard if I wanted to step out of my home. Similarly, once cinemas reopen with the proper safety protocols in place, there will be consumers. Initially there will be lesser admissions which will slowly rise up to good capacity, as we all love the larger than life cinema experience and are finally ‘social’ at heart.

The key to the magic of this medium has always been the consumption of content in the best viewing conditions and that is what will always drive patrons to cinema. Thus, the fact that most studios have delayed their film releases has proved that their ideal curtain raiser is cinema, a fact that negates the doomsayers.

On the overall local and global market, just like in every crisis, those who survive and/or have war chests, will come out far stronger and success stories will start rising again. One important thing to remember is that those that remain have to support each other with flexible terms and avoid rigidity.

Cinema has survived catastrophic events such as world wars and other pandemics, and will undoubtedly emerge as a medium of choice again. Our region has one of the highest cinema occupancy percentages in the world and that is not going to change. The third and fourth quarter movie releases remain intact with a number of blockbusters releasing and in fact, some of our advertisers have already confirmed that they are looking forward to returning to cinema for advertising – hence ensuring that we as a medium will not be terminated, even by a global pandemic. We’ll be back!


This article was also published in Campaign Magazine Middle East

Highlights from MENA Cinema Forum 2018

MENA Cinema Forum – the first-ever business conference of its kind in the region, organised by GM Events was held in Dubai on 28th – 29th October 2018.

The 2-day conference covered a range of industry specific topics – with focus on the growth in the cinema industry in the Middle East, and was attended by more than 45 speakers, 450 delegates and 90 sponsors.

Cinema is the fastest growth market in the MENA region witnessing tremendous progress as a result of rapid population growth, urbanization, focus on development across leisure sectors, and the emergence of Saudi Arabia as a new market. Additionally, cinemagoers in the region demand the best movie experiences, stimulating upgrades and innovation across existing and upcoming facilities.

The MENA Cinema Forum brought together a spectrum of stakeholders within the cinema sector, including but not limited to local and international governments, investment companies, mall owners, cinema operators and exhibitors, suppliers and industry leaders.

The forum addressed areas required for successful establishment and operations of cinemas to meet growing regional requirements:

*Another key topic for discussion was global recognition of Arab Cinema, and how strong strategies and supply chains can further improve its acceptance.

As part of the Speakers’ panel, Avinash Udeshi, Chief Operating Officer – Motivate Val Morgan together with Deena Al Mansoori, Founder and CEO – Aljoori for Cinema Production and Advertisement and Anil Pattani, Director – Awan Media was invited on Day 2 to discuss the development of models that guarantee profitability of movie theatres.


Day 1 focused on:



Day 2 focused on:



Key Information from MENA Cinema Forum 2018


Other event features included: technical presentations, product showcases, roundtable discussions, workshop and break-out meetings, networking, awards ceremony, major announcements of upcoming movies in 20198 by 21st century and a special screening of First Man at Reel Cinemas – The Dubai Mall (Dolby Screen).


MENA Cinema Forum 2019

The next forum will be held in November 2019, with a focus on the exhibition industry & cinema infrastructure, and on MENA production.

For more information on the MENA Cinema Forum visit



Sources: Emirates 24|7, Forbes Middle East, Zawya, The Arab Weekly and MENA Cinema Forum

SAWA | Feed Our Future | Global Cinema Ad

The Global Cinema Ad draws attention to the potential lost every time a child dies of hunger.

Ad invites the public to connect and learn more about hunger through an in-cinema Facebook Messenger integration, and take action to help end hunger through the WFP’s ShareTheMeal app.



Motivate Val Morgan is proud to support yet another Global Cinema campaign‘Feed Our Future’, by SAWA (Global Cinema Advertising Association). The powerful new advertising campaign is aimed at stirring global cinema audiences into action to tackle global hunger by supporting the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s leading humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide.

The ad started screening across 14 Motivate Val Morgan serviced VOX Cinemas locations in the UAE on Thursday 20th September 2018, and will run for a period of 11 weeks.


Feed Our Future Global Cinema Ad


‘Feed Our Future’ is a new global cinema campaign designed to engage and motivate people to participate in creating a world with Zero Hunger.

The campaign features a 60-second dramatic spot and is airing on cinema screens in over 25 countries.

This disruptive short film is designed to make people consider the potential lost every time a child dies of hunger.

Supported by SAWA, the global trade organization for cinema advertising, and the United Nations World Food Programme, the spot will encourage audiences to download ShareTheMeal – the world’s first mobile app against global hunger.

The cinema advertisement was conceived by advertising legend Sir John Hegarty and The Garage Soho. It was directed by acclaimed film director Lynne Ramsay and produced by award-winning production company Somesuch & Co.



“The creative challenge here is to find a way of engaging the audience without resorting to endless images of starving children. Creating empathy by reminding the viewer that when a child dies, we all lose,” said Sir John Hegarty.

Following the ad, the audience is urged to take part in creating a world with Zero Hunger by downloading ShareTheMeal, the world’s first app against global hunger. To further connect audiences with the advertisement, a unique Facebook Messenger integration with the ad will enable viewers to engage with the character of Miriam Adeke to learn more about her story and the issue of hunger by searching for ‘ShareTheMeal’ on Facebook Messenger. At a time when 821 million people – roughly one in nine of the global population – still go to bed on an empty stomach, this new digital integration will bring the offline, online by connecting viewers with the cinema advertisement and the issue in a brand-new way.

“Hunger is a major global issue. It is therefore fitting that the Cinema medium, with its global reach, should be proactive in driving awareness for the World Food Programme. Millennials who are educated, socially aware and a hard to reach demographic, make up a large part of the Cinema audience and these are the people that can and will facilitate change. Since 2015, the Cinema Medium has stepped up to support the Sustainable Development Goals and we are committed in 2018 and beyond to make the World Food Programme famous by using the power and impact of the Cinema Medium. SAWA encourages other mediums to do likewise,” says Cheryl Wannell, CEO of SAWA.

“Three million children die every year of hunger or malnutrition,” said Corinne Woods, Director of Communications, Marketing and Advocacy of the United Nations World Food Programme. “When partners step up like SAWA and their members have, it helps us create a movement and generate support for our work to ensure that every child has the vital food and nutrition they need to not only survive, but thrive.”

“As a longstanding member of SAWA and the leading cinema advertising company in the UAE, we are excited to support such a noble cause and believe this campaign will resonate with cinemagoing audiences,” says Avinash Udeshi, COO of Motivate Val Morgan.

For more information about the ‘Feed Our Future’ advertisement and campaign, and to learn how to get involved in creating a world with Zero Hunger, please visit: and



Sources: SAWA, “Feed Our Future’ and WFP