Dubai to Host Inaugural META Film Fest

The META Film Fest will be a three-day event filled with star-studded premieres, celebrating Hollywood, Bollywood, Arab and African content.


The inaugural META Film Fest has been launched by META Cinema Forum – the pioneering cinema convention for Middle East and Africa, in partnership with VOX Cinemas – the largest cinema exhibitor in the region, and is set to bring the latest blockbusters as well as independent, regional, and local productions to movie lovers over a three-day jammed packed festival from 27-29 October, at VOX Cinemas Nakheel Mall in Dubai, UAE.


Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, The Great Minds Group (organizers of the META Cinema Forum) stated, “a selection committee will review all the submissions from around the global and the final 30-40 films will make it to the festival. Expect at least four to five blockbusters that will premiere with their stars walking the red carpet, after-parties with talents, and it will all culminate with an awards ceremony honouring the best in cinema.”


A film fund is another feature of this festival, where 2 pre-production content ideas submitted by regional talent, one full feature film idea and one documentary idea, will be chosen to be funded for production, and will be subsequently screened at the festival’s future editions and will be supported through marketing and worldwide distribution. This feature is dedicated to discovering Arab talent and contributing to production of world class Arabic content.


While the region was initially exposed to festivals such as Dubai International Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the META Film Fest is billed as the first private-sector and industry stakeholder-led film festival in the Middle East and Africa.


“We are trying to engage as many audiences as we can at this festival … This is going to be a place for creative people to sit together, develop ideas, and produce great content too,” added Masinaei .


Due to the festival’s location, the event guarantees one of the most diversified audiences present at any festival, while boasting the legendary glitz and glamour of Dubai.



Sources: META Film Fest and Gulf News



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