CAIRO: After a three-year absence, the film market returns to the Cairo International Film Festival in an attempt to attain credibility and attract funds.
“It is an industry. Industry means market and market means money, festival President Ezzat Abu Ouf told The Daily Star Egypt.
The main goal, however, is to establish this important element of attraction and source of credibility for the festival, he added.
The aim of organizing the market is “to market and assist different programs and producers, said Raymond Iskandar, the film market director.
One of the basic foundations of any well-established international film festival, the film market was taken off the Cairo fest’s agenda three years ago. At that time organizers chose to cancel the market because it hadn’t been yielding substantial revenue in previous years.
A similar endeavor has been added to the Cairo Television and Radio Festival through the past three years. Organizers of the film festival, however, see the event as the best vehicle to carry the market, which won’t be limited to cinematic productions.
With only 20 booths set up at the Cairo Opera House, the 30th round of the festival will witness a modest re-launch of the market idea.
“The comeback of the market has to be slow then we, like the Television Radio Festival, we would have 400-500 stands. But this year we only have 20 until the market gains back its strength, noted Iskandar.
Most of the participants come from Egypt and Arab states, such as Good News, Arab Radio and Television (ART), Naguib Sawiris’s latest project OTV and Arab Distributors of Dubai. North America is a no-show; Europe is primarily represented through France; other international participants include Sri-Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico and Argentina.
According to Iskandar, display units will be rented for a $500 fee. Other producers and distributors will participate without any display units. “These are the buyers, he added.
The festival administration, however, won’t charge commission on any contracts signed during the 10-day event.
Abu Ouf recognizes the difficulty of building the reputation of the film market in just one round.
“It won t be done in one step. It will take so many steps, so many years, he said.