META Cinema Forum Confirms 2020 Event in Hybrid Format

Now in its 3rd edition, META Cinema Forum, the largest cinema convention covering the Middle East and African Markets, will take place from October 27 – 28, 2020.

After signing an agreement with the Pan African Film Consortium, the MENA Cinema Forum was re-branded as META Cinema Forum, inclusive of Middle East and the entire African continent.

For the 2020 edition, in consideration of the ongoing challenges around the global pandemic, the META Cinema Forum will be conducted as a hybrid event, first of its kinds in the world.

The event includes an invaluable conference covering all key critical topics of the cinema sector, from projects and plans to technology and content. The conference has traditionally been accompanied by the biggest cinema convention in the region, to offer the latest in supplies and technologies to the stakeholders. Special screenings, premieres, slate presentations, workshops, awards, and post event receptions have accompanied the conference and trade show to make it a comprehensive cinema convention for the region.


2020 META Cinema Forum in Hybrid Format


“The cinema industry has been amongst the most impacted sectors by the pandemic, but if the $54 million USD BOX Office sales of Tenet, the first blockbuster release since the pandemic, in its opening week at select international markets has proven anything, it’s that moviegoing is a habit we do not wish to kick, and that passion for movies and cinema as a form of accessible entertainment is here to stay. Therefore, in close coordination with the major global stakeholders, we came up with a true hybrid event, the first of its kind in the world, to facilitate collaborations that are required to help with the recovery. The event will highlight the plan for projects in the region, the recovery phase for the cinema industry, and content diversification as key critical elements. We are very delighted to work with VOX Cinemas once more as our Strategic Partners, and to be able to stream live digital content at VOX for local audience to enjoy, not to mention, to be the first in the world in 2020 to showcase upcoming movies from various studios and their new release dates,” says Leila Masinaei, Conference Director and Managing Partner, Great Minds Event Management.

The 2020 edition will include a knowledge packed conference, select slate presentations of upcoming content and films from leading Hollywood and international studios, including Africa for the first time, at VOX Cinemas, Mall of Emirates in Dubai, a live META Cinema Projects Insight session with the most senior cinema leaders in the region and rounded off with a networking after event reception. Cinema innovations and advanced technologies will also be displayed as a product showcase floor at the event.

For those who don’t wish to attend physically, don’t panic, all conference content will be available live via video conferencing technology and will be free of charge for all to attend this year.

Click here to register for this year’s forum, or contact Great Minds Event Management for more information.



Source: META Cinema Forum

Highlights from MENA Cinema Forum 2019

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



Sources: Zawya and MENA Cinema Forum



Related Article:

Highlights from MENA Cinema Forum 2018

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