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Challenges and Opportunities of Showcasing Middle Eastern Content in the UK

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A keynote and stakeholder roundtable discussion on the ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Showcasing Middle Eastern Content in the UK.

In recent years, with the rise of streaming platforms and a transforming media landscape, the volume of films from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on UK screens has increased, and different formats, such as TV dramas, are entering the market. At the same time, recent years have seen political turbulence across the region, which has affected and informed both film production and its worldwide distribution and exhibition in different ways.

The event, supported by the LICA Research Fund, brought together academics, curators, and film distributors from various disciplines to widen the conversation around the distribution, exhibition, and reception of films from the MENA area in the UK.

The roundtable discussion raised significant questions around issues of diversity, cultural representation, and political awareness. Are we seeing more diversity in film titles, and are they reaching new audiences? How do curatorial and marketing strategies negotiate with these political tensions? And what role do these titles play in shaping audiences’ perceptions and engagement with geopolitical issues involving the UK and MENA countries?

Keynote: Prof. Shohini Chaudhuri’s (University of Essex) entitled: 'Crisis Cinema in the Middle East: Creativity and Constraint in Iran and the Arab World'.

Round Table speakers:

Elhum Shakerifar (independent Producer, formerly MENA & Iran advisor at London Film Festival and Curator of Shubbak, London Festival of Contemporary Arab Culture)

Sheyma Buali (Senior Producer at BBC Arabic and Festival curator)

Robert Beeson (Director of New Wave Films)

Professor Shohini Chaudhuri (University of Essex)

Dr Gali Gold (Head of Cinema at Barbican)

Dr Stefanie Van de Peer (Queen Margaret University, Middle Eastern and North African Cinema scholar and curator, and festival programmer)

Event (Symposium)

TitleChallenges and Opportunities of Showcasing Middle Eastern Content in the UK
LocationLancaster University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event