By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Two-thirds of visitors to the event are expected to be between the ages of 18 and 34
Approximately 50,000 people are expected at this year’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, with organizers taking steps this year to improve public access to celebrity interviews and expanding the space reserved for workshops, according to Michael Lamprecht, event manager at Informa Middle East.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Lamprecht said that in past years, only 16 percent of visitors are under 18, 66 percent are between 18 and 34, and 18 percent are over the age of 35.
“We’ve mixed it up a little bit this year,” he said. “The entire event including the mainstage is indoors in the festival arena…moreover, we understand the efforts our cosplayers take and this new layout will be very comfortable in costumes and make-up.”
Lamprecht said that all celebrity interviews would be conducted on site in a bid to give a greater audience an opportunity to watch. Workshops have also been moved onto the show floor, with greater space than in previous years.
“Each year the workshop agenda gets better and better, and this year you can join workshops that teach you what it takes to work at DC or Marvel, how to draw Rick and Morty, and how to create your own comic,” he said.
Lamprecht also revealed that the event will including a screening of the first 5 minutes of the highly anticipated ‘Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna’ before it hits cinemas later in the year, as well as a number of other anime screenings.
The event will also include showings of a number of films, including the Oscar-winning ‘Parasite’ and Disney’s latest film, ‘Onward on Saturday’.
Commenting on wider industry trends, Lamprecht said that MEFCC organisers have witnessed “a huge increase” in the diversity of the content that the Comic Con audience demands, ranging from Arabic indies to Korean dramas.
“Asian pop culture has been a staple of the Middle East from the late 1980s and early 1990s,” he said. “[But] with the rise of social media and the ever-growing presence of the internet, especially in this region, Asian pop culture, particularly from South Korea and Japan, is today almost level with that of its American counterparts.”
“The spread of Asian pop culture highlights the changing attitudes of youth in the Middle East,” Lamprecht added.
The Middle East Film and Comic Con is scheduled to take place between March 5 and March 7.