Mexican films for the Middle East
Film producers in town to look at possibility of screening Mexican films in local cinemas
Dubai: The spotlight at this year’s Dubai International Film Festival In Focus panel discussion may have been on Mexican cinema, but the emphasis was really on strengthening ties with the Middle East.
“We want to meet people who we can enter into dialogue with to look at what opportunities there are for us in this region,” said panelist Cristina Prado of the Mexican Film Institute. “We have sales in this region and we have rights with the television. But we’d like to speak to anyone about whether they’d be interested in getting copyrights in order to show Mexican films in the cinema here. How films are distributed in the cinema here? They are all things we’d like to understand more about.”
Taking place in the Film Forum, Mexico in Focus welcomed panelists director Filipe Cazals; Tonantzin Esparza of Maya Entertainment, a distribution company of Mexican films in the US; producer Bertha Navarro and moderator, Monica Delgado of the Reforma newspaper.
Cazals was extremely passionate about the lack of exposure for Mexican films and predominantly blames this for the poor success rate.
“Even in Mexico, 97 per cent of screens only show films from the US rather than from Latin America,” he said through a translator. “As a result, which co-producer is going to be interested in Mexico, when they know the possibility for exposure is limited.
“So this is a problem. Even for the co-production panorama the enthusiasm does exist and takes place through intentions but it’s not successful when it comes to practicalities.
“The stars we see on the red carpet at an event like this are there because of the film maker. Someone writes for them, someone does their make-up, their hair. But they are known because of the film.”
About the festival
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region.
Now in its seventh year, DIFF has established itself as a major international festival, while continuing to serve as a premier showcase event for Arab cinema, and contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry.
DIFF has also extended its platform to present and honour excellence in cinema from countries in Asia and Africa. Independent and established talents from Asian and African countries with a burgeoning cinema culture are given prominent standing in the festival’s programme and competition.
DIFF’s pioneering initiatives such as the Muhr Awards, Dubai Film Connection and Dubai Film Market have enriched professional experiences in the region, while also raising the profile of regional works on the world stage.
The festival has left an indelible impression on its guests, industry professionals and viewers, through its events, workshops, seminars and principal mandate of presenting the finest selection of cinema from all over the world. DIFF is a frontrunner in promoting better cultural understanding through creative achievements in film.
More info: The Dubai International Film Festival runs until December 19 and for more information visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
Entry filed under: DIRECTORS, DISTRIBUTORS, DUBAI INT FILM FEST, FILM FESTIVALS, LATIN AMERICAN FILM, MARKETING, MEXICAN CINEMA, PRODUCTORS. Tags: Cristina Prado, Dubai International Film Festival, Filipe Cazals, In Focus, Maya Entertainment, Mexican Film Institute, Monica Delgado, Tonantzin Esparza.