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This Online Resource Will Help Deliver Arab Films to American Audiences


Nadine Labaki and Zain Al Rafea in Capernaum.

While streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu have already provided American audiences with an introduction into Arab cinema, a new partnership between the Arab Cinema Centre (ACC) and Telescope Film will now see the launch of an entirely new microsite centered around the promotion of regional Arabic films. An online resource dedicated solely to bringing international cinema to the US, Telescope Film currently boasts a database of 450,000 films from all around the world. Using the ACC microsite, users can search for films of their choice and upon receiving information regarding their availability, click through to one of the hundreds of viewing platforms connected to Telescope. Having previously partnered with German Films and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, the platform is well versed with curating and marketing foreign films for American audiences.

“The Arab world has produced some of the great masters of world cinema, as well as some of the most exciting directors working today,” said Justine Barda, founder and Chief Executive of Telescope Film in a statement. “We believe their work should be better known in the US and want to help make that happen.” Comprising various categories from fiction, documentary and short film, the microsite provides a synopsis, trailer and feedback from critics for each film, leaving viewers with a comprehensive viewing experience.

Speaking to The National, Abdallah Al Shami, director of the Arab Cinema Centre says the information that was curated in order to build the new platform was among the first of it’s kind. “In order for us to get all this data and give it to Justine and her team to plug it into the website, [there] has been manual labour because this information doesn’t exist,” he says. “It’s critical for us to [do] this because we need to expand our reach in terms of the stories that are coming out of the Arab world,”

Organized by Mad Solutions in 2015, the Arab Cinema Centre is a mobile platform that aims to connect, nurture, and promote the region’s film industry. Bridging Arab film with local, regional and international festivals, markets, and audiences, the platform leverages the presence of Arabic cinema to create a more active presence both in existing and unchartered territories locally and around the world.

Read More: 44 Iconic and Contemporary Arabic Films to Stream on Netflix Now

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