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Wide-Ranging Debut Slate Unveiled for Dubai-based MAD World Arab Cinema Premier Global Sales Company
Wide-Ranging Debut Slate Unveiled for Dubai-based MAD World Arab Cinema Premier Global Sales Company

MAD Solutions, the Arab World’s leading independent film distribution studio and talent representation agency, is proud to announce the launch of MAD World, Arab Cinema’s pioneering global sales company.

Headquartered in Dubai, MAD World will make its debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it will oversee the worldwide sales and international distribution of a diverse array of compelling Arab-language feature films. Operating from the Arab Cinema Center stand within the Marché du Film, MAD World is poised to make a significant impact on the global film market.

Building on the success of last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where the Sudanese Un Certain Regard title "GOODBYE JULIA" secured numerous sales across various territories, MAD Solutions is now expanding its reach into international film sales. The company also achieved acclaim with another Cannes festival title, the Directors’ Fortnight short film "THE RED SEA MAKES ME WANNA CRY," which became the first Jordanian film to be sold to the MUBI global streaming platform.

In addition to acquiring worldwide rights to international co-productions, the Cairo-based studio has increasingly engaged in packaging Arabic projects with significant international market potential.

MAD World will offer a mix of new titles and an extensive library of recent festival award-winners, documentary features, acclaimed shorts, and regional box office successes. Many of these films have yet to be experienced by audiences outside the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Notably, indie hit "GOODBYE JULIA" was theatrically released across the Arabic-speaking world through MAD Distribution, the company’s distribution division, which will continue to focus on the MENA marketplace.

At the helm of MAD World are MAD Solutions’ Co-Founders, Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab, along with Managing Partner Colin Brown, all assuming Co-President titles. Karkouti will serve as CEO. Joining the team are two seasoned European executives experienced in international licensing: Edin De Liancourt, Vice President of Sales & Acquisitions, and Jeanne Deny, Director of Sales & Acquisitions.

MAD World arrives at Cannes with a diverse lineup of over a dozen titles from Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. These titles encompass a wide range of storytelling tones and genres, promising fresh narratives to captivate global audiences.

Some of the highlighted additions to the MAD World slate include:

  • "THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON" (Egypt/Tunisia/France) - Winner of the top project prize at the Red Sea Souk, this film explores the turmoil within an Egyptian pig farmer's Coptic Christian community during the swine flu epidemic.
  • "THANK YOU FOR BANKING WITH US" (Palestine/Germany/Qatar) - A female-empowerment drama about two sisters challenging sexist inheritance laws, directed by Laila Abbas.
  • "THE LAST EXORCIST" (Saudi Arabia) - An adaptation of a Saudi comic book, following an exorcist's battle to save a tribal leader’s kidnapped daughter from djinn underworld spirits.
  • And many more compelling narratives from across the Arab world.

In addition to feature films, MAD World will showcase documentaries such as "DIARIES FROM LEBANON" and "HIDING SADDAM HUSSEIN," offering a rich tapestry of Arab storytelling to global audiences.

“With the creation of MAD World, we aim to provide a dedicated platform for exporting the diverse narratives of Arabic cinema to a global audience,” said MAD World Co-Presidents Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab. “Building on our history of promoting Arab films, MAD World will elevate Arab storytelling to new international heights.”

Colin Brown, MAD World Co-President, added: “Arab filmmakers have often faced challenges in the international sales ecosystem. We intend to challenge those limitations by exploring unconventional distribution options to expand the global reach of Arab storytellers.”

Founded in 2010, MAD Solutions boasts a vast rights library and is renowned for its innovative marketing strategies. With operations spanning Cairo, the UAE, Lisbon, and New York, MAD Solutions continues to play a pivotal role in promoting Arab cinema on the global stage.