During the recent Venice Film Festival, Arabia Pictures Group announced that they're teaming up with Tanweer, as the company based in Greece is venturing into co-producing feature films in the Arab world.
Roua Almadani is the CEO of Arabia Pictures and was in Venice to talk about her company's mission and what the partnership means for cinema in and from the MENA.
"We, both as Arabia Pictures and myself as the CEO, are very open to collaborations with Europe and the States, and by opening those bridges we feel we are opening up opportunities for the industry," Almadani told us. "This movie #Gawwezni was a collaboration between Arabia Pictures and Greek company Tanweer," Aldamani continued, "they wanted to do Arabic content and worked with us on it."
The first title that just wrapped production, as Almadani mentioned is #Gawwezni, "a romantic comedy about a young man, Fares, who madly falls in love with Lily until a spell is casted upon him and he can’t be true to his feelings which leads to a series of misunderstandings, comic situations and humorous hurdles… jeopardizing the relationship.." The film will be released in Saudi cinemas by the end of the year.
Walking out of the tremendous success received by their Greek production Smyrna, Tanweer is venturing into co-producing feature films in the Arab world, with the rising production division of Arabia Pictures Group.
"With this Greek collaboration for example," Almadani explained, "we are thinking of producing something in Greece and they are thinking of producing something in Saudi." These kinds of interactions will form long lasting collaborations that open borders and create cinematic bridges -- much needed in our current somewhat divisive world.
#Gawwezni stars The Crown’s Amir el-Masry and Zodiac’s Mayan El Sayed, along with veteran actors Sabrin and Bayoumi Fouad. #Gawwezni is helmed by first time filmmaker Essam Nassar, who made a name for himself by directing several successful commercials and music videos.
"This project for example is directed by a first-time filmmaker but we believe in him," explained Almadani, "and while the actors are stars, they may not be superstars yet but are on their way to that status, and we believe in them and invested in them."
Joseph Samaan, President of Tanweer, added: “ We are confident to join forces with Arabia Pictures Group on crafting an original slate and in bringing quality genre films to audiences worldwide. We’re also aiming at collaborating together on Web3 and much more.”
Rony Mitri, Managing Director of Arabia Pictures Distribution said: “We are trying to cater to our audiences in delivering entertaining quality films. APG will theatrically release the films in KSA and the Gulf Territories. While our partner Tanweer will release the films across Europe, Asia and North America simultaneously with MENA.”
Founded by Abdulelah Al-Ahmary and Roua Almadani, Arabia Pictures Group is a multifaceted media and entertainment company based in Saudi Arabia. With a young team of creatives, APG is dedicated to Film Production, Distribution, Training, Events Management and Advertising.
Embracing the local culture at its core, APG aims to keep nurturing talent, supporting film appreciation, building a vibrant film industry, creating original and enthralling multi-platform content, and generating a sustainable business within the realm of entertainment.
Looking to establish international partnerships, Arabia Pictures aims to be a global player to keep pushing forward and together the creatives.
We asked Almadani why she co-founded Arabia Pictures and she replied, "my background is in creative and producing, and in 2019 I had two companies already -- event management and a creative enterprise -- so when my co-partner came to me with his financial background we had a vision of cinema coming to Saudi, even though it wasn't fully there yet." Almadani realized that while she was in a privileged position, many Saudi creatives might not have the financial support and family background to easily entertain a career in the industry and so Arabia Pictures was founded to help promote and back the voluminous talent in the Kingdom. And beyond.
The three-picture deal between Arabia Pictures Group and Tanweer is joined by local based Egyptian production company Vibrations Studios.
Tanweer, which is headed by Joseph Samaan is a well-established international business organization, having a 30-year business presence in the audiovisual market with activities covering a wide variety of different sectors (distribution, sub distribution, production, postproduction, acquisition of cinema and TV content etc.) maintaining offices and facilities in various countries including headquarters in Dubai and Athens.
Founded in 1986, Vibrations Studios, is a full house production company that strives to provide exceptional and extraordinary content and tending to every need imaginable. Our extensive services include Cinema & TV Production, Audio Production, Post Production and much more. As one of the first private studios in Egypt to have such diverse services under one roof, we use the latest technology, software and equipment the market has to offer in order to maintain the top notch quality we guarantee to deliver.