Hollywood studio inks new Gulf distribution deal

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The US film studio Relativity, which is behind movies such as 'The Social Network' and Oscar-winner 'The Fighter', has extended its distribution deal with Qatar-owned Gulf Film.

As part of the multi-year agreement, Gulf Film will distribute Relativity’s films across all media in the region, including Relativity-produced and acquired titles and third-party sales agency titles handled by Relativity International.

In a statement, Relativity said it had been expanding its presence in the Middle East, which was one of the world’s fastest growing film markets.

It was also working on establishing a new venture, which will partner with local producers to create original film, television and digital entertainment content.

The studio has produced, distributed or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures, generating more than $22bn in worldwide box office revenue.

Amongst its recent films are ‘Safe Haven’, ‘Act of Valor’ and ‘Immortals’. It was also behind eight-time Oscar nominee ‘The Social Network’ as well as ‘Limitless’ and two-time Oscar winner ‘The Fighter’.

Ryan Kavanaugh, founder and CEO of Relativity, said: “Demand for high-quality entertainment content in the Middle East has been expanding rapidly over the past few years. Relativity is committed to building on our already strong presence in the region and to help accelerate growth across the film, television and digital media landscapes.”

Selim El Azar, CEO of Gulf Film, said: “We're very pleased to announce this partnership, which further cements the synergistic relationship between Gulf Film, the Middle East's leading film distributor and exhibitor, and Relativity Media, a next-generation studio at the forefront of entertainment.”

Founded in 1989, Gulf Film is the leading film distributor in the Middle East, and operates the region’s largest cinema chain, with 101 screens in the UAE and Jordan.

Ongoing expansion will see 66 new screens unveiled within the next two years. Gulf Film is a subsidiary of Qatar Media Services, which is wholly owned by the Qatari government.

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