Dubai Studio City eyes Italy cinema ties
Dubai, December 17, 2008
Dubai Studio City, the Middle East’s first dedicated film production cluster and a member of Tecom Investments, said it leveraged the forum of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) to explore co-production opportunities with the Italian film industry.
Currently running until December 18 and organised in association with Dubai Studio City, DIFF is an integral part of Dubai’s efforts to establish itself as a global hub for the film industry, featuring the Middle East’s first dedicated film and broadcast production cluster as its centerpiece.
Dubai Studio City’s discussions with the high-profiled visiting Italian delegation came as part of an industry workshop held under the theme ‘Co-Producing with Italy-Creating without Boundaries: Italy & the Arab World’, said a Dubai Studio City official.
Participants included representatives from Arab and Italian film industries, top executives of Dubai’s audiovisual entities and Italian government officials.
Moderated by Silvia Bizio of La Republica, the session brought together panelists including Francesco Maria Giro, undersecretary of state to the Minister of Culture and Cultural Heritage, Italy; Gaetano Blandini, director general of Cinema in Italy; Jamal Al Sharif, executive director of Dubai Studio City; Nayla Al Khaja of D-Seven Motion Pictures; Simon El-Habre, director of ‘The One Man Village’; Ibrahim El – Batout, director of ‘Eye of the Sun’; Pertro Letto from Cinecitta Studios SpA; Alessandra Priante of Cinecitta Holding; Marco Valerio Pugini, producer of ‘PA-RA-DA’; and Alessandro Usai from Mikado SpA.
Jamal Al Sharif said the panel was an effort to interact with our Italian counterparts and understand how professionals from the two cultures can create a common language through the medium of films."
"We explored co-production partnership opportunities from a legal and practical standpoint. The forum also provided an opportunity for the Italian film professionals to gain an insight into the regional industry.
“In addition, we showcased the location-specific advantages Dubai offers to international filmmakers. We have invited them to come to the emirate for commercial, television or cinema production, and assured them of the support of our Location Approval Services (LAS) department,” he added.
With a sole mandate to issue permissions for filming and photography activities in Dubai, the LAS department offers instant convenience to international filmmakers by expediting and facilitating all aspects of filming in Dubai and the UAE, including location scouting, access of talent, arrangement of visas, and arranging affordable accommodations for crew members.
Spread over an area of 22 million sq ft, Dubai Studio City has 14 fully equipped sound stages, a 3.5 million sq ft back lot for outdoor shooting, commercial offices, pre-built studios, a business centre and post-production studios.
The first phase of the development includes three sound stages – one 15,000 sq ft unit and two units of 25,000 sq ft each. The sound stages are expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2009.-TradeArabia News Service