Former DIFF member starts consultancy for regional film and entertainment industry

Former DIFF member starts consultancy for regional film and entertainment industry
Published: 24 September 2018 - 10:37 a.m.
By: Pranav Vadehra

Shivani Pandya Malhotra, former managing director of the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) has joined forces with Mohammed Saeed Harib, Chairman of Lammtara Art Productions best known for the hugely popular animated TV series FREEJ to launch NearEast Entertainment. The new enterprise is a strategic marketing services and consultancy for the film and entertainment industry targeting the TV, music, film, arts and live events sectors.

Based in Dubai, serving the MENA region and with an international reach, the newly formed company will provide strategic consulting services, using the founders' experience and local insight to deliver cultural initiatives and events from ideation to execution and provide strategic consulting services in the media and entertainment industry.

NearEast Entertainment will support Arab cinema and will strive to help filmmakers from the region secure financing, build all-important connections with film professionals from across the industry and assist with publicity to ensure films from the Arab world are seen by global audiences to help drive cinematic growth in the region.

The group stated they also aim to bring international films to the region, support studios with their MENA theatrical release through publicity support, regional insight and reaching new audiences in the Arab world.

They are joined by former associates and media specialists including Jane Williams, Mahsa Motamedi, Zeina Sfeir, Ben Amy and Antoine Khalife who together bring over 20 years of local, regional and international experience.

Shivani Pandya Malhotra, founder of NearEast Entertainment explained: “NearEast Entertainment is born out of a passion to celebrate film and culture and with a vision to support the rapidly evolving media and entertainment industry in the GCC. There is currently a gap in the market both in the UAE and the wider Arab world which Near East Entertainment can fulfil with excellent personal and professional connections within Hollywood, the Indian and the Arab film industries. We are in a prime position to develop cutting-edge events and initiatives, further encourage global recognition for Arab cinema, bring a wider selection of entertainment to local audiences, support the International film industry to further strengthen their presence in the region and navigate the landscape and create new collaborations to bring exciting opportunities to the UAE.”

Mohammed Saeed Harib, co-founder added: “The industry is growing at an incredible pace, with an enormous wealth of talent who are embracing new opportunities to bring their projects into the world. Local audiences are hungry for compelling content, events and initiatives from home and abroad and we are keen to bring our expertise to global entertainment brands, filmmakers and industry professionals to deliver stand-out content and cutting-edge events to the region. The future is bright for the media and entertainment industry in the Arab world and I believe Near East Entertainment can be right at the centre where that all fuses together.”

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