Movie summit a milestone for Qatar
Web posted at: 4/1/2010 2:37:44
Source ::: THE PENINSULA
DOHA: Some of the biggest names in Hollywood and Arab cinema have paid tribute to Qatar’s growing film industry, citing the success of the FT Business of Film summit as a turning point in the development of movie making in the Middle East.
The comments come on the same day as videos and podcasts from the summit panels are made available for the general public to view at: http://www.ftconferences.com/businessoffilm/Page/Podcast-and-Video/
“The FT Business of Film Summit, in partnership with Alnoor Holdings and held in Doha last week, was a landmark event for the region’s film industry. The whole relationship between Hollywood and the Middle East is evolving and I think we will see new forms of collaboration that go beyond the simple funding paradigms. That so many senior figures from Hollywood made their way half way across the world to participate is testament to how seriously the US film industry is looking at international markets. In many ways Qatar is at the vanguard of the new Middle East film industry and the summit will have added momentum to the steps already made by the inaugural Doha Tribeca Film Festival held in November last year,” said Greg Coote, Chairman and CEO of Dune Entertainment which has financed films such as Avatar, and Wolverine.
Frederic Sichler, Chairman of Amana Creative, an Egypt-based company committed to creating content that bridges the Western and Arab worlds and former CEO of France’s CanalStudio, paid tribute to the organistation of the event.
“Doha’s 2010 FT Business of Film Summit has been a very rich experience for all of us. Well-balanced panels were supported by a remarkable organisation. The problematic of combining the development of a strong local film industry and that of an ambitious presence on the international scene has been properly addressed to everyone. This summit will remain a milestone in Qatar and Alnoor’s strategy to play a major role in the world of filmmaking,” said Sichler.
Ahmed Al Hashemi, Chairman of Alnoor Holdings, a private Qatari entertainment and media company that partnered with the Financial Times for the inaugural Business of Film Summit, said that the impressive participation was a decisive factor in the event’s success.
“Alnoor Holdings is delighted to have partnered the FT for the inaugural Business of Film Summit. As a private sector Qatari media and entertainment company we are proud to play an active role in the development of a local film industry that is viable over the long term and enables this region to share its own stories with the rest of the world. Having so many leading figures from the world of film – from Hollywood, the UK, China, India, Korea, and many other countries – here in Qatar to discuss their thoughts on the challenges and opportunities that are facing us all was a truly fascinating experience. The feedback that we have received has been enormously positive and I look forward to welcome our guests back to Doha for future occasions,” he said.
Olivier Cottet-Puinel, Deputy Managing Director of Business Affairs at major French production and distribution company Pathe added: “Both the speakers and panel discussions were interesting and informative and we were most impressed with the cultural richness of Qatar, as well as the warm welcome extended by its film industry and the local people who truly embraced the summit at every level.
As a European Studio, Pathe has always valued the region’s culture and considered itself a close neighbour, therefore we feel a mutual energy and a desire to share, respect and collaborate.”
Bill Mechanic, founder of Pandemonium Films and former CEO and Chairman of Fox Studios, commented: “I found the FT Qatar conference to be a fantastic introduction for me to many of the most influential media companies and individuals in the Middle East. There was a terrific sharing of ideas and issues and a great bridge between Hollywood and the Region.
I found the business and creative leaders from not only Qatar, but Dubai, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, India and others to be warm, inviting and open. People shared ideas and ambitions in the most positive of lights”.
Mark Gordon, of The Mark Gordon Company and producer of 2012, Day After Tomorrow, and Patriot said that many participants are planning to return for the 2011 summit.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Doha,” said Gordon.
“Raja Sharif and the entire Alnoor team assembled an incredible line-up at the Film Summit. It was an honour to be included, and I can’t wait to return next year.”
The summit was held here last week and saw a full turnout of 200 participants.