Boasting a rights library of more than 500 feature films, documentaries, and shorts, MAD Distribution is prolific in the financing, production, packaging, marketing, and releasing of Arab films that span the gamut from festival prize-winners to commercial blockbusters. Since the beginning of 2021 alone, MAD has distributed more than 100 film titles, two-thirds of them feature-length, across the Arab-speaking world and in international markets. MAD remains the only Arab distribution company to be a member of Europa Distribution, the networking association for international film distributors.
MAD Distribution is the first company to have two Arab films competing for the Oscars in the same year when both “Theeb” (Jordan) and “Ave Maria” (Palestine) were nominated for Academy Awards in 2016. Most recently, MAD launched its world sales division with the first ever Sudanese film in Cannes history, “Goodbye Julia”, which won the Freedom Prize in Un Certain Regard, alongside the first two Jordanian films in Cannes history, “Inshallah A Boy” and “The Red Sea Makes Me Wanna Cry”. MAD took the first Saudi film ever to be in Berlinale, Ahd Kamel’s short “Sanctity” in 2012; it also worked on the first Saudi feature ever shown at that festival, “Barakah Meets Barakah”, as well as the first Jordanian film in the Berlinale, “The Last Friday”. In other festival landmarks, “The Alleys” was the first Jordanian film ever to be screened in Piazza Grande at Locarno, while “Theeb” was the first Jordanian film ever to be in Venice. MAD Distribution is the first company to release Jordanian (“Theeb”, “Daughters of Abdulrahman” and “The Alleys” ) and Tunisian films (“Hedi”) across multiple Arab territories. MAD Culture developed the “first-timer” concept that distinguishes the Amman Film Festival in Jordan. MAD Content has subtitled more than 1,000 hours of Arabic feature films, shorts, documentaries, and TV Series, including 150 hours of Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH).
MAD is a visible presence at more than 100 film festivals, markets and industry events throughout the year, bringing global recognition to its Arab films and their creative talents. With a constant eye on seeding tomorrow’s filmmaking talents, MAD Distribution became the first Arab entity to provide distribution awards for Arab films starting at the Venice Film Festival ten years ago, as part of its Final Cut in Venice workshop. The company has continued presenting awards for Arab projects at key industry launchpads for works-in-progress around the world, including two awards for Arab projects at the Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors in 2015. Annual awards are given out by MAD at the Cairo Film Connection at the Cairo International Film Festival, the Beirut Cinema Platform, the Malmö Arab Film Festival, the Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon, the Amman Film Festival in Jordan, CineGouna Platform at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival and the Souk at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.
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