The second edition of the MENA Cinema Forum – largest conference and exhibition dedicated to cinema in the MENA region, organized by Great Minds Events took place at Conrad Dubai from 22nd to 24th October 2019.
From conferences, workshops, corporate meetings, film slates, screenings, post-event receptions, an expo and awards ceremony, and much more, this year’s forum was on a much larger in scale – richer in content and designed to enhance the industry evolution through updates on regional projects and policies, technological and technical advancements in cinemas and best practices in next generation of customer experience and engagement, through a mixture of various content and mediums.
2019 witnessed over 60 speakers, 200+ C-Level Executives, 800+ attendees, 115+ sponsors and exhibitors from 50+ countries.
Day 1 kicked off with an Opening Keynote by the Strategic Partner of the MENA Cinema Conference: Cameron Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment.
The panel discussion on MENA Cinema Upcoming Project Updates included:
The panel also indulged in a live debate chaired by Jan Runge, MENA Cinema Chairman & Advisor, answering questions from the delegates and attendees at the forum.
Day 1 also featured a presentation focusing on ‘Cinema Strategies and Statistic Updates’ delivered by Rajkumar Akella, Managing Director, Comscore India (Movies)
His discussion included the following:
Ashish Shukla, the Chief Executive Officer of Cinépolis Gulf addressed the audience with project updates from the fastest growing international exhibitor in the region – Cinépolis. He also unveiled a new special and exclusive project and partnership in the UAE.
The event was held across 2 levels at the Conrad Dubai; one to host conference sessions and the other for exhibitors to showcase their products and technologies.
The Trade Show on Day 1 featured technical seminars on:
Day 2 included a mix of presentations and panel discussions that focused on:
Technical Seminars on Day 2 of the forum included:
Day 3 focused on regional content production, best practices in this field and regional and international collaborations. A series of 6 masterclasses addressed pertinent topics such as film financing, script writing, production and acting, catered to professionals and newcomers alike.
New to 2019 were workshops and masterclasses on key topics for a more interactive and hands-on learning experiences – delivered by global leaders to help enhance learning and growth opportunities at the forum.
The workshops held on day 3 covered range of topics and themes:
MENA Cinema Forum also hosted an Expo – The largest exhibition of its kind in the region, and amongst one the largest cinema expos globally, for the second time round, following the success of last year’s round.
The exhibition introduced interesting and interactive attractions including but not limited to floor talks, product demos, themed entertainment, mini-screenings, an Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality zones, rest and refreshment parlors.
The Awards ceremony – presented by Comscore and co-presented by Dubai Studio City, are globally recognized and are a fixture of the big global conventions, and now in MENA. These awards are based on quantitative data measuring performance of all sectors and markets across the globe with identical metrics.
Here’s a list of this year’s winners:
Expanding its scope as an event for the cinema industry – with the aim to engage, wow and inspire, this year included several international and regional content screenings at VOX Cinemas – Mall of the Emirates and Reel Cinemas – Dubai Mall: International films such as The Addams Family, Terminator: Dark Fate, Leonardo – The Works and Zombieland: Double Tap. Other screenings included: local and regional content such as Son-Mother.
Pass holders were given the opportunity to interact with cast and crew of some of these feature films.
At the end of each day of the forum, post-event reception – in a themed setting, offered refreshment and entertainment in a fun and relaxed atmosphere for attendees to mingle and further nourish their friendships and business relationships.
Here’s a video with highlights from MENA Cinema Forum 2019:
The next forum will be held in October 2020.
For more information on the MENA Cinema Forum visit www.menacinema.com
Sources: Zawya and MENA Cinema Forum