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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Pacha Pictures launch at 64th Cannes Film Festival

Pacha Pictures launch at 64th Cannes Film Festival 

Leave it to the Egyptians to do it their way…I have nothing but the utmost awe and admiration for the revolutionary energy and passion for filmmaking and change coming out of Egypt, setting things in motion in the way of communication, revolution, cinema and now… world distribution!!!


I met up with producer/actor Khaled Abol Naga in Istanbul when he told me about their plan to launch an independent World Sales/Distribution company between Cairo and Paris, to be called PACHA PICTURES, which they would launch at the 64th Cannes Film Festival. And they did it! This year it was Egypt’s year at Cannes.


Producers of the Egyptian film MICROPHONE (2010), Khaled Abol Naga and Mohamed Hefzy, of Cairo-based Film Clinic, speak with Pacha Pictures company chair Frederic Sichler.


PACHA PICTURES TEAM: The secret to Pacha Pictures will be: Talent and quality!! Our plan regarding pre-sales is to use Pacha Pictures as a contact point with any possibility with co-production whether it be with Europe or Middle East. Pacha Pictures will be strictly a distribution company so there is no conflict of interest. Co-production is a question of money and exposure and Team Cairo still under construction. We started a year ago putting things on the ground that have a passport and we are the people who love these films. You need to stay with your film. Cinema crosses borders. Before Arab revolutions we wanted to find people who care and that is point of Pacha Pictures because we are missing this love for international cinema and especially Middle East. There is a missing body and this body had to exist, hence our launch in Cannes with all the change happening back home…Revolutions, etc. In the past five years we didn't have films that could go beyond Middle East borders...Films like ONE ZERO (2009) never got distribution and it's so great to now have a place with which to help our films get out there. 


QUESTION: How is change in the middle of Arab world now ready to accept Middle East cinema?


KHALED: Good films are coming out of the art films. Now we have a product to sell but the body that is able to sell that film in the outside world did not exist so we are going to give it a good try. This is the history of the past. Product in Egypt used to have to be a desire of one guys in France to make it happen only because they had a Western partner. But the West now has to listen to what Arabs want to say to the world. Political context varies from one territory to another but what is common is a new Arab generation of people who are educated part of modern world. There are no secrets anymore in the modern world in the way in which people change what they want to say. MICROPHONE was great film because it was the signal for what happened in the past. How can I solidify what is here and not have to go abroad, so we have to find a way to express our modernity here. You never know how things happen but the fact that things could happen is what is important.


QUESTION: Why did you decide to do this in Paris?


FREDERICK: Paris is the capital of the indie distribution. 60% of the world’s movies are distributed from French worldwide. So having an office in Paris gives Pacha Pictures credibility and professionalism around the world. We want top fight for Arab films and good films. We have an office in Cairo to circulate in the Middle East and all the action and permanent connection with all artistic partners. We are everywhere in the Middle East but we need to have a Western base. First you start with name of company. This will be a sales agency so we I'll sell to local distributors. Cinema distributors. The country which opens the biggest amount of films a year is France with 18 films in Cannes selection, 50 films here and 2000 films in the market. Part of the job of the company is put job in muscles... How will we reach the community in the world (Sao Paolo, BUE, LA, Chic, NY, etc.)? Open Internet, VOD, etc. This way the world will be cut in two. Big budget Hollywood and then indie films, international and local. So, Pacha Pictures will be a handmade distribution process. We will have 12-15 films a year and then maybe 2-3 cinema ones. We start from 0 so may be a 3-5 year process. But we have to start somewhere.


MOHAMED: Cooperation has increased so much in the last years. Pacha Pictures is here to make connection between Middle East and rest of the world. We are going start with these films now.


Transcribed by Vanessa McMahon


Read article in Variety here:


 MY WAY!!!: KHALED SINGS 'we did it our way!' 


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