Middle East

The fifth Joburg Film Festival wrapped Sunday night with the caper comedy “The Umbrella Men,” from homegrown director John Barker, a local premiere that cast and crew celebrated by promenading through Nelson Mandela Square with brightly colored parasols. Earlier in the week, the first edition of the JBX Content Market…

Several top international directors, including Alice Diop, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and Cristian Mungiu are demanding that their films be pulled from Iran’s Fajr Film Festival after learning that they had been sent to the fest by a regional distributor without their permission. Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment…

Prominent U.S. producer Christina Wayne, who shepherded “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” has been appointed managing director of MBC Studios, the expanding production arm of top Middle East broadcaster MBC Group. Wayne will replace Peter Smith, the former president of NBCUniversal, who over the past four years has overseen a…

Rebecca Rørmark has been promoted to the newly created role of senior VP, head of streaming marketing, for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), reporting into Patrizio Spagnoletto, global chief marketing officer for direct-to-consumer. WBD is currently preparing for the launch of its global streaming platform…

Veteran TV exec Peter Smith is stepping down as managing director of MBC Studios, the production arm of top Middle East broadcaster MBC Group. Smith, a former president of NBCUniversal, had joined Saudi-owned MBC in 2018 as it ramped up production while launching its Shahid VIP streaming service, alongside its…

German-Turkish director Fatih Akin is attending the Red Sea Film Festival for the screening of “Rhinegold,” about young Iranian-Kurdish immigrant Giwar Hajabi, also known as Xatar, who is one of Germany’s most successful rap stars. The pic was released in Germany on Oct. 27 and has grossed over $10 million,…

MORE TALENT JOINS ‘AGENCY’ Indonesia’s Miles Films and SK Global Entertainment have revealed more of the talent participating in their “The Talent Agency” (aka “Harbungi Agen Guei”) the local version of the hit French series, “Call My Agent!.” Other recurring roles go to Sheryl Sheinafia, Chicco Kurniawan, Dea Panendra, and…

After this year’s blackout, the 80th annual Golden Globes Awards ceremony will return to NBC’s airwaves, along with a streaming option via Peacock, on Jan. 10.  In 2021, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which is made up of journalists from Europe, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, faced…

“He is so, so talented,” gushes director Adil El Arbi when speaking to Variety about Brendan Fraser. The actor played villain Firefly in the now discarded Warner Bros. Discovery film “Batgirl,” directed by El Arbi in collaboration with his long-time partner, Bilall Fallah. “The way he played that character… It…

The Red Sea Souk, the four-day industry market of the Red Sea Film Festival, is positioning itself as the principal film market for the Middle East and North Africa. This year’s second edition includes two development competitions, a work-in-progress competition, and the Red Sea 360º event, held in association with…

As jury president of the Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, Oliver Stone is taking his role seriously. He sees the festival as an opportunity to explore the cinema being made in a region of the world he views as being misunderstood: “It’s a chance to really dip into…

Top Middle East exhibitor Vox Cinemas, which is also active in distribution and production, is ramping up its investment in producing Arabic feature films and unveiling its first full-fledged slate of local original movies at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival. Vox’s Arabic line-up caters to local market demands by…