UAE Secures 23 Lions at the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

The United Arab Emirates wins 23 majestic Lions – 1 Grand Prix, 3 Gold, 5 Silver and 14 Bronze, at the 2024 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.


The 71st Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity concluded on June 21, 2024, with the UAE securing an impressive 23 Lions—including 1 Grand Prix, 3 Gold, 5 Silver, and 14 Bronze—across multiple categories such as Grand Prix for Good, Health & Wellness, Print & Publishing, Audio & Radio, Pharma Lions, Industry Craft, Direct, and more.

Winning agencies from the UAE include IMPACT BBDO, Leo Burnett MEA (Middle East & Africa), FP7 McCann, Saatchi & Saatchi ME, MullenLowe MENA McCann Health, and Serviceplan Group Middle East, alongside the brand Floward MENA.


UAE Cannes Winner - 2024


Simon Cook, CEO, LIONS, said, “As we wrap up another year of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, I hope everyone feels an extraordinary sense of pride and a rejuvenated sense of energy and inspiration in our industry. I’d like to congratulate each and every winner – as well as those shortlisted – on being recognised by your peers as demonstrating the greatest, most effective creativity our industry has to offer.”

This year’s festival saw 13 Awarding Jury Members and 12 Shortlisting Jury Members who joined the cohort of Juries from around the world to select and award the best work of the year.



Nayan Ganegoda and Braeden Bihag proudly represented the UAE in two esteemed events as part of the Festival: the International Young Lions Digital Competition (for young creatives under 30 in the digital category) and the Roger Hatchuel Academy (a mentorship program for university students in creative communications). Their participation exemplifies the UAE’s commitment to nurturing and empowering emerging talent in the ever-evolving creative landscape.

Commenting on their experience at this year’s International Young Lions Competition, Team UAE – Nayan Ganegoda and Braeden Bihag – said “Attending the Cannes Lions for the first time was a remarkable experience. It went beyond what we imagined the festival to be, where we had the opportunity to not just immerse ourselves in learning from the best in the industry but form meaningful connections with them while celebrating creativity week long. We leave inspired and driven to attend again in the future.

They added, “Representing the UAE at the Young Lions, we had the chance to compete with over 100 of the world’s best under-30 creatives for a climate advocacy brief set by ‘Project Dandelion’. They are a new non-profit social movement aiming to unify climate efforts under one banner. In 24 hours, we were tasked with developing and presenting a digital campaign that would drive mass recruitment and awareness. It was a tough challenge, but having the chance to work on a meaningful problem and pitch to industry heavyweights was a truly gratifying experience. Armed with our experience, having succeeded locally at the UAE Young Lions, we brought that experience forward with a strategy-led campaign. In the end, we made it to the shortlist, presenting a second time to a larger jury and securing ourselves a place among the Top 7. Special thanks to Motivate Val Morgan for making all this possible, and to our team at Almost Impossible Agency for believing in us.

Speaking about her experience at this year’s Roger Hatchuel Academy, Clara Armanious from Murdoch University Dubai said, “Representing the UAE at the prestigious Cannes Lions Roger Hatchuel Academy 2024 was a career-defining moment. The energy of the festival, surrounded by the world’s most inspiring creative minds and celebrating the groundbreaking campaigns, was truly transformative and an achievement that will shape my professional journey for years to come.

She added, “At the academy, I had the unique opportunity to engage with and learn from the world’s best industry leaders through panel discussions and sessions, gaining invaluable insights into the creative landscape. I’m grateful to my Professor Joseph Nalloor and Murdoch University Dubai for nominating me for this incredible opportunity. I also want to thank the festival, the RHA, Ian Fairservice, Motivate Media Group, Avinash Udeshi, and Sahal Valliyot from the Motivate Val Morgan team for making this incredible experience happen. This experience has not only broadened my perspective but also inspired my passion for pushing the boundaries of creativity in my future work.”

As the official representatives of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the UAE, Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan extend heartfelt congratulations to the victorious agencies, esteemed jury members, and talented young representatives who proudly showcased the UAE at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Check out the Cannes Lions Wrap Up Report to catch up on all the prominent moments from the festival from industry insights to festival themes and what was said on stage and the work that won.




Eid al-Adha Delivers 1.62 Million Cinema Admits Across the MVM Circuit

This Eid al-Adha, cinema admissions soared like the summer sun, delivering a remarkable 1.62 million admits across the MVM circuit in just seven days.


This significant surge was driven by summer blockbusters such as ‘Inside Out 2,’ ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die,’ ‘Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,’ the Arabic hits ‘Welad Rizk 3,’ ‘El La3eb Ma3 El 3iyal’ and popular Asian titles ‘Chandu Champion,’ ‘Talavan,’ ‘Turbo,’ ‘Mr and Mrs Mahi,’ ‘Munjya’ and ‘Maharaja.’


The admission figures for the first two weeks of June reached a staggering 2.67 million, demonstrating that films from all genres have performed exceptionally well and showcasing the diverse preferences of our audience across the region.


In comparing the first two weeks of May with the first two weeks of June, we observed significant growth of 94% across the region: Bahrain saw a 150% increase in admissions, Kuwait 70%, Lebanon 71%, Oman 96%, Qatar 127%, Saudi Arabia 89%, the UAE 106%, and Egypt 68%.


These figures underscore a sustained upward trajectory in cinema attendance across the MVM circuit, not only owing to the festival but also the gradual filling up of gaps in the release calendar this year after a content drought due to the SAG-AFTRA strike.


This box office success speaks volumes as we look ahead. The cinema industry is poised for an exciting summer season projected for further growth, particularly with school vacations driving increased footfall. The upcoming releases, including ‘A Quiet Place: Day One,’ ‘Despicable Me 4,’ ‘Deadpool and Wolverine,’ and ‘Crow,’ promise to maintain the momentum, making cinema the go-to entertainment choice.


Download our ScreenTalk Movie Planner to explore the full lineup of movies releasing in Q3 2024 and start planning your cinema campaigns. 




All data presented are derived from the Motivate Val Morgan Intelligence platform CineMeasure, which is exclusively available to our clients for tracking cinema campaign success.




Reel Cinemas Opens at Marassi Galleria in Bahrain

With the opening of Marassi in Bahrain, Reel Cinemas now operates in three countries: the UAE, KSA, and Bahrain


Reel Cinemas has opened its first venue in Bahrain at Marassi Galleria – a premier beachfront mega mall in Manama – in collaboration between Eagle Hills.


Reel Marassi Galleria – Bahrain features seven state-of-the-art cinema screens, including an IMAX with Laser screen and two Platinum Experience Screens. Cinema enthusiasts can also enjoy a specially crafted 5-star food and beverage menu, offering a unique blend of entertainment and dining.


Reel Bahrain Location


Mr. Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Emaar Properties PJSC, said, “After witnessing the success of our cinemas across the UAE, Emaar is excited to bring the iconic Reel Cinemas experience to the Bahraini market. With this latest addition to Emaar Entertainment’s diverse portfolio of offerings across the region, Reel Cinemas will provide a unique movie-going experience to suit all needs, in line with our commitment to developing popular attractions across the MENA region, and we are confident that it will become a popular destination for residents and tourists alike.”


Since its opening, Marassi Galleria has quickly become the center of attention, offering a plethora of entertainment options including shopping, dining, and leisure activities alongside its vibrant cinema.


Motivate Val Morgan, Reel Cinemas’ exclusive cinema advertising partner, proudly welcomes our latest addition and the first Reel Cinemas location in Bahrain to our circuit.


Contact us to advertise at Reel Marassi Galleria – Bahrain.



Source: Marassi Al Bahrain

Cannes Lions Announces 2024 Awarding Jury Members from the UAE

The UAE jury members will collaborate closely with awarding jurors from 54 markets to recognize and honor outstanding work from around the world at this year’s festival


Cannes Lions has unveiled the cohort of global experts selected to award the world’s finest creative and effective work, setting the standard for excellence this June at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Among the distinguished jury members announced, this year will feature thirteen representatives from the United Arab Emirates.

The 71st edition of Cannes Lions will witness Leo Burnett’s Kalpesh Patankar serving as the first Jury President for Industry Craft Lions from the MENA region, marking the second consecutive jury representation in two years.

Commenting on the Jury, Simon Cook, CEO of LIONS, said: “We’re delighted to have a balance and breadth of expertise and global representation across our Juries. The Awarding Juries represent the global industry’s leading talent from a diverse range of disciplines, and we welcome the unique perspectives they bring. We thank them for their time, dedication, and care in setting the global creative benchmark for our industry.”

Regarding the Cannes Lions jury panel from the UAE, Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner of Motivate Media Group, said, “We are excited to see the continuous increase in the UAE’s footprint at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. Kalpesh Patankar’s appointment as the second consecutive jury president in two years serves as a clear indication of the creative industry’s development here, steered by a diverse and talented group of experts. This reflects the UAE’s steadfast dedication to upholding standards of excellence and innovation in advertising, marketing, and communications. With a further twelve talented jury members, each bringing their own unique perspectives to the judging process, this is a great representation of our region at the international level.”

The 2024 Awarding Jury Members from the UAE have been named as:


Brand Experience & Activation:
Nayaab Rais, Senior Creative Director, FP7 McCann Dubai

Creative Commerce:
Sebastien Boutebel, Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi ME

Creative Effectiveness:
Islam Eldessouky, Global VP, Creative & Strategy, Coca-Cola TM

Digital Craft:
Stacy Andersen, Head of Digital Transformation & Innovation, Merkle MENAT

Saymon Medeiros, Creative Director, and us

Entertainment Lions For Music:
Pierre Carnet, Managing Director, MENA, MassiveMusic

Camila Venegas Gomez, Associate Creative Director, M&C Saatchi

Industry Craft (Jury President):
Kalpesh Patankar, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett

Elda Choucair, Chief Executive Officer, Omnicom Media Group (MENA)

Darius LaBelle, President, BPG Group

Marie Claire Maalouf, Chief Creative Officer, Edelman

Radio & Audio
Federico Fanti, Chief Creative Officer, FP7 McCann Dubai

Ali Rez, Chief Creative Officer, Impact BBDO


With shortlisting jury line-up alongside the Luxury & Lifestyle Lions Jury to be announced soon, see the full list of Global Presidents and Awarding Juries here.

Further information on this year’s Festival and the Lions Awards can be found at visit

Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan are the official representatives of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the UAE.


Source: Cannes Lions



How Cinema Advertising can be a Goldmine for Brands During Eid

Eid in the region isn’t just a celebration; it’s a spectacular opportunity for brands to captivate a vibrant and engaged audience. This Eid, the stage is set with over 14 films premiering during the festive weekend, creating a dazzling canvas for brands looking to amplify their advertising impact.

Here’s why seizing this opportunity with cinema ads priced by admission is a strategic masterstroke.

Cost-Effective Engagement: Cineplan’s by-admission buying route offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising methods. You pay only for the viewers who see your ad, ensuring a targeted investment with a potentially high return.

Targeted Reach During Peak Season: The Eid movie lineup this year spans genres and languages, catering to diverse tastes. This ensures that cinemas, whether in IMAX or luxury theaters, are packed, providing brands with effective ways to target audiences by language, genre, and demographics.

Standing Out in the Content Rush: Traditional advertising channels risk being drowned out. Cinema advertising shines here, with its large, immersive format that captivates attention and allows for creative storytelling. A well-crafted ad can become an unforgettable part of the movie-going experience.

Captive Audience, Maximum Impact: Eid brings families and friends together at the cinema, creating a captivated audience free from distractions. With this ambiance set and all eyes on the big screen, your ad has a prime opportunity to make a lasting impression.


Explore the Eid long weekend movie releases and kickstart your Eid campaign with Our Cinema Buying Platform.

  1. Kung Fu Panda 4 – Watch Trailer
  2. Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire – Watch Trailer
  3. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (Hindi) – Watch Trailer
  4. Imaginary – Watch Trailer
  5. Maidaan (Hindi) – Watch Trailer
  6. The First Omen – Watch Trailer
  7. 3almashi (Arabic) – Watch Trailer
  8. Land of Bad – Watch Trailer
  9. Varshangalkku Shesham (Malayalam) – Watch Trailer
  10. Lahazat Lazeeza (Arabic) – Watch Trailer
  11. The Bricklayer – Watch Trailer
  12. Aavesham (Malayalam) – Watch Trailer
  13. Marivillin Gopurangal (Malayalam) – Watch Trailer
  14. Romeo (Tamil) – Watch Trailer



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.




Almost Impossible Agency Wins Gold at the UAE Young Lions Digital Competition 2024

Nayan Ganegoda and Braeden Bihag from Almost Impossible Agency won gold at the UAE Young Lions Digital Competition 2024


The 21st edition of the prestigious UAE Young Lions Digital Competition, hosted by Motivate Media Group and Motivate Val Morgan – the official UAE representatives of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, took place on Saturday, 24th February 2024.

The online competition for the digital category witnessed 23 teams representing agencies, client-side creative teams, as well as freelancers. The Judging and Awards Ceremony followed on Wednesday, 28th February 2024, with Nayan Ganegoda and Braeden Bihag, representing Almost Impossible, winning Gold.


Nayan Ganegoda & Braeden Bihag


Nayan and Bihag will receive a full week’s delegate pass and an all-expense-paid trip to represent the UAE at the International Young Lions Digital Competition – part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in June 2024.

Jolanda Van Rooyen and Jean Pierre Deaibes from Publicis Middle East claimed the Silver, while Francesco Negri and Michelle Co from FP7 McCann took home the Bronze.

Additionally, this year introduced a new section for honorable mentions, recognizing the exceptional efforts of Faten AlMukhtar and Sevval Asena Celik from TikTok, and Anzan Nahas Mohammed and Kezia Shamil from Leo Burnett.


Gold Winning Summary Board - Almost Impossible Agency
Silver Winning Summary Board - Publicis Middle East
Bronze Winning Summary Board - FP7 McCann
Honourable Mention TikTok
Honourable Mention - Leo Burnett


This year’s client brief was from Every Can Counts, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness about recycling aluminum drink cans. Participating teams were tasked with crafting an integrated digital campaign that communicates the significance of aluminum drink can recycling and inspires change in behaviour to boost recycling rates by utilizing creative storytelling and compelling messaging to resonate with the audience and drive action toward sustainability in the UAE.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Nidhi Sehgal, General Manager- Strategy & Growth, FLC Group – Marketing Agency for Every Can Counts UAE stated, “Amidst the challenges of limited awareness and cultural barriers, the Young Lions teams boldly tackled the mission to transform aluminum drink can recycling in the UAE. With innovation as their compass, they’ve crafted campaigns that not only educate on the importance of recycling but inspire behavioral change, aiming to elevate our recycling rates beyond the current 33%. Each team’s unique perspective contributes to a collective push for a sustainable future, aligning with Every Can Counts’ vision to make every can count in the journey towards environmental conservation and ACT Now.Thank you to Motivate Val Morgan for selecting the initiative to be part of this year’s UAE Young Lions Digital Competition 2024, and the respective teams for their dedication, hard work and unique perspective to make a change.”

The jury panel for this year’s competition comprised of: Ahmed Alotaibi (BPG), Ali Zein (Saatchi & Saatchi), Andre Nassar (IMPACT BBDO), Andrej Arsenijevic (Commonwealth McCann), Aunindo Sen (Publicis Middle East), Fernando Miranda (VML), Frederico Roberto (TBWA\RAAD), Joseph Bihag (Almost Impossible), Kim Jerbo (Create Media Group), Leila Katrib (Incubeta), Muhammad Ali (Leo Burnett), Moemen El Siwi (Memac Ogilvy), Nicolas Garcia (Science & Sunshine), Oliver Robinson (Mullenlowe MENA), Paulo Engler (FP7 McCann),Sandy McIntosh (M&C Saatchi), Saravana Ramakrishnan (FLC Group), Saymon Medeiros (And Us) and Youssef Gadallah (TikTok).

Ian Fairservice, Managing Partner, Motivate Media Group, commented, “In an ever-evolving industry, the UAE Young Lions Festival stands as a beacon of creativity and innovation, showcasing the brightest talents in our region. This year, we witnessed an excellent level of participation, highlighting the festival’s growing importance and the thriving creative landscape in the UAE. The quality of work from all participants was truly exceptional, especially from the winners, Nayan Ganegoda and Braeden Bihag, who I’m sure will be great ambassadors during this year’s Cannes Lions event”

The UAE Young Lions Digital Competition, supported by Getty Images (the exclusive image provider of the competition), aims to unveil the brightest creative minds from across the UAE and is part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communications. The 2024 festival will take place between 17-21 June at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France.




The Best Christmas Ads of 2023

‘Tis the season once more! The arrival of the Christmas ad season is consistently met with great anticipation, and this year proved no exception. Retailers worldwide unveiled their festive commercials, aiming to captivate the hearts and minds of consumers.

From Apple’s heartwarming ad showcasing ‘The Beatles’ to M&S’s star-studded commercial featuring Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, and Chevrolet’s touching spot in support of the Alzheimer’s Association, these are among the standout Christmas ads of 2023.

Explore the comprehensive list of 2023 ads that evoke the holiday spirit and resonate with our emotions.


Apple – Fuzzy Feelings

Apple’s ‘Fuzzy Feeling’ unveils a festive tale—a discontented employee, her less-than-jolly boss, and a compelling message intricately woven with The Beatles’ classic tune. Creative magic unfolds as always!


Chevrolet – A Holiday to Remember

Chevrolet collaborates with the Alzheimer’s Association in their latest ad, shedding light on the experiences of those living with Alzheimer’s and their families, particularly during the holiday season.


Coca-Cola – Anyone Can Be Santa

In this festive season, Coca-Cola gently nudges us to embrace our inner Santa. Check out the enchanting 2023 Christmas ad, where the spirit of kindness overflows in a cascade of heartwarming moments.


John Lewis – Snapper: The Perfect Tree

John Lewis’s nontraditional Christmas ad communicates a clear message for the festive season: forge new traditions. Explore the ad featuring Alfie, who buys a seed to grow his unique Christmas tree at a market.


Capital One – Quicksilver Holiday Night Fever

Capital One cleverly uses nostalgia and familiarity, anchoring our attention with John Travolta and the iconic JoBee Gees soundtrack, ‘Stayin’ Alive,’ preventing us from skipping past.


Tesco Helping you #BecomeMoreChristmas

The father-son dynamic adds a relatable touch, blending humor with familial bonds.


ALDI – Share the Love

Aldi’s “Share the Love” showcases a star-studded ensemble from the vegetable kingdom, including Kevin the Carrot, Gluttonous Grape, Naughty Green Kiwi, Plumty-Dumptys, Spoilt Little Sprout, Ebanana Scrooge, and Marcus Raddishford.


M&S – Say HELLO to Right & Left Mitten

Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney don charming mittens for an M&S Christmas journey that is a must-watch, filled with heartwarming moments.


Amazon – Joy Ride

Amazon’s heartwarming Christmas ad, ‘Joy Ride’ celebrates enduring friendships and shared experiences as three elderly friends rekindle their youthful spirit, all in the backdrop of The Beatles’ ‘In My Life.’


Dior – The Garden of Dreams

Dior’s enchanting Christmas ad, ‘The Garden of Dreams, featuring Anya Taylor Joy unfolds a captivating narrative within a dreamlike setting, seamlessly blending luxury fashion with festive magic, creating an immersive and stylish holiday experience.


Lidl – A Magical Christmas

Lidl’s heartwarming 2023 Christmas ad, ‘A Magical Christmas,’ follows a raccoon on a whimsical journey to bring joy to a boy, emphasizing the power of small gestures and encouraging customers to donate toys for local children in need.


Sainsbury’s – “This Christmas, one little girl asks one BIG question.”

A curious girl steps up to the in-store tannoy at Sainsbury’s to ask: “What does Santa eat for his Christmas dinner?” Her question sparks a flurry of responses from Sainsbury’s workers, each offering their suggestions of festive dishes, showstoppers and treats.


ARGOS – Dancer

Connie’s lively table-dancing and Trev’s sweet character set a festive mood in Argos’s short, enjoyable ad, showcasing their products in a relatable and fun way.


Boots: Give Joy

Boots excels in capturing the essence of Christmas by highlighting the joy of giving. In their quirky ad, a girl poses an unusual question to her mom, akin to Sainsbury’s approach: “Who gives presents to Santa?”



Sources: DMI, USA Today, Creative Boom



META Cinema Forum Promises to Grow the Region’s Cinema Share

META Cinema Forum brings together cinema stakeholders from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and CIS countries, committing to elevate the cinematic experience in emerging markets.


The sixth edition of the highly successful META Cinema Forum took place between November 7-8, 2023, at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai under the theme ‘Growing the Region’s Cinema Share,’ exemplifying a dedicated commitment to fostering growth and innovation within the industry.

The event, attended by over 500 delegates, visitors, buyers, sellers, and other industry stakeholders, featured engaging discussions, presentations, and workshops addressing the industry’s challenges, solutions, and current market dynamics. Key topics covered included Regional Content Production and International Collaboration, Cinemas of the Future, as well as a comprehensive exploration of emerging cinema trends and technologies, incorporating vital cinema statistics and case studies delving into Rewarding Patrons and Effective Pricing Strategies.

A myriad of stands, presenting the latest products, services, and technologies from a carefully curated selection of industry suppliers, technology providers, and stakeholders, were also showcased at the event.

The forum also attracted the biggest cinema operators in the region as partners in success, with VOX Cinemas, the forum’s strategic partner, alongside AMC KSA, Cinepolis, Muvi, and other cinema operators presenting their future expansion plans.

A notable feature of this year’s edition was the spotlight on Women in Film and TV (WIFT). The event showcased a round table discussion titled ‘Beyond the Glitz,’ featuring prominent female panelists such as Nancy Paton, Founder of Desert Rose Films and President of WIFTGCC, Charlotte Louise Sutcliffe, Entertainment Lawyer and Associate at CWB, and Head of Events at WIFTGCC, Ozge Conduroglu, Acquisition & Distribution Lead at The Plot Pictures MENA, and Ashleigh Potts, Marketing Director at Studio Distribution, Majid Al Futtaim LLC.

Additionally, the forum celebrated rising female Emirati filmmakers Zainab Shaheen, Maitha Al Awadi, Eman Al Sayed, and Sarraa Al Shehhi. The spotlight also shone on Nayla Al Khaja, the first Emirati film director, who received recognition at the WIFT MENA AWARDS during the event.


META Highlights


Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, Great Mind Events Management, remarked, “The success of the 6th META Cinema Forum reflects our unwavering commitment to advancing the cinematic landscape in emerging markets. This year’s event has reinforced our belief in the power of collaboration, innovation, and shared experiences within the industry. We are excited about the future possibilities and the role META Cinema Forum will continue to play in shaping the cinema sector in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the CIS region.”

The two-day cinema conference also featured special screenings, including the latest Marvel movie ‘The Marvels’.

The highlight of the event was The META Cinema Awards and Gala Reception—a night of celebration recognizing outstanding achievements in the cinema industry. Nathan Gilligan, Senior Operations Manager at Comscore, and Nena Loncar, Client Insights Manager at Comscore, presented the awards. Recipients of this year’s META Cinema Awards include:”

Motivate Val Morgan was one of the media partners for the META Cinema Forum and a supporting partner for Meta Cinema Forum 2023.

How Cinema Helps Brands to Capture the ‘Elusives’?

In the realm of marketing terminology, one encounters familiar buzzwords such as Gen-Z, resonating strongly within industry discussions and strategies. Yet, amid this prevalent vocabulary, a lesser-known term emerges: Elusives. Uncommonly uttered in marketing circles, the concept of Elusives remains enigmatic, lacking the widespread recognition attributed to its Gen-Z counterpart.


While Gen-Z garners attention for its purchasing prowess, age dynamics, and pervasive influence, a pertinent question emerges: Are Elusives synonymous with Gen-Z? Delving into this intriguing query unveils an exploration of a demographic perhaps just as vital but hidden in mystery within the marketing landscape.


So, who are Elusives? According to the Video Advertising Bureau, Elusives are lucrative, young, diverse, and cordless audiences who are more prevalent but elusive when it comes to advertising. They tend to avoid advertisements at all costs, opting to skip ads or passively engage with unskippable advertising content. They pose a challenge for marketers to reach compared to other audiences. However, there is a platform that consistently captures these Elusives – The Cinema.


The VAB report highlights that 65% of all moviegoers belong to the adults 18-34 multicultural audience who perceive cinema as a crucial part of their social lives. They prefer watching a diverse range of genres at the cinema within its initial release week.


Furthermore, the report indicates that Elusives, from the moment they step into the cinema, become receptive to in-theater advertising. Remarkably, 89% of adults 18-34 take their seats before the start of trailers, viewing cinema as a pivotal social event. They often combine other activities, such as dining out or shopping, following the movie.


This scenario cements cinema as the ‘go to’ social activity for youngsters and offers marketers immediate opportunities to engage with these socially active and lucrative consumers through cinema advertising. It becomes an advantageous channel for immediate audience reach, such as launching new products, consumer promotions, or seasonal campaigns. Marketers stand to benefit from cinema’s proven ability to rapidly amplify the scale and reach of a campaign, all within a highly attentive environment.



Source: VAB