Film festivals celebrate world cinema
Film festivals celebrate world cinema Image Credit: Shutterstock

As many as 40 films with a focus on Arab, Hollywood, Bollywood, and African content will be showcased at the three-day inaugural META Film Festival to be held in October in Dubai, said organiser Leila Masinaei at a press conference on May 26.

The three-day fest will be held at the Vox Cinemas from October 27 to 29 at the Nakheel Mall at the Palm Jumeirah.

“A selection committee will review all the submissions from around the global and the final 30-40 films will make it to the festival. Expect at least four to five blockbusters that will premiere with their stars walking the red carpet, after-parties with talents, and it will all culminate with an awards ceremony honouring the best in cinema,” said Masinaei to Gulf News.

MET Film Festival organisers
Toni El Massih, Managing Director, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, Leila Masinaei, Managing Partner, GM Events, Professor Ashley Rite, VP, Marketing & Growth, OSN+ and Roozbeh Kafi, American University in Dubai at the press conference to announce the launch of the inaugural META Film Festival

A film fund will also be launched to help promote filmmakers and scriptwriters from this region.

Currently, it’s an industry-led event with private-sector companies throwing their weight behind the event.

Asked if there are any confirmed celebrities attending the festival, Masinaei said talks are on to have the cast of a few major blockbusters attend.

“We will have at least two major Hollywood blockbusters, along with one regional, and one Bollywood premiere. We are going to have red carpets that will have lots of people screaming those actors’ names and we will need to hire a lot of bouncers ... The work has already begun. In the coming months, we will start dropping names and we are in the process of building the final schedule. We are also planning VIP packages for the audiences that include a meet-and-greet with big stars,” said Masinaei.

META Film Festival is billed as the first private-sector and industry stakeholder-led film festival in the Middle East and Africa. Earlier, the region saw festivals like Dubai International Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival play out.

“We are trying to engage as many audiences as we can at this festival ... This is going to be a place for creative people to sit together, develop ideas, and produce great content too,” she added.