LONDON: Leading movie distributor Empire Entertainment and Istanbul-based entertainment company BG Film announced on Tuesday a partnership to distribute hit Turkish movies across cinemas in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Empire Entertainment and BG Film “have joined forces to distribute and produce high-quality Turkish content and bring the very best of Turkish movies to the MENA region as well as setting up a joint venture based out of Istanbul specialized in entertainment for the Turkish market,” the two companies said in a joint statement.
The new partnership will see the distribution of eight titles per year, ranging from high-production blockbusters to educational animations.
The animated picture “Thinking About You (T.A.Y.)” will be the first movie to hit MENA cinemas as part of the new deal and is scheduled to be released in October.
“We always go the extra mile to provide the best content for entertainment in the region and this partnership with our friends at BG Film will allow us to tap into a whole new world,” said Mario Haddad Jr., CEO of Empire Entertainment.
The new partnership represents an opportunity for Empire Entertainment to expand its portfolio and will allow the movie distributor to tap into a market that has enjoyed considerable growth over the last few years.
“We believe this step addresses an undeniable increase in demand for Turkish content that at BG Film we are more than ready and able to serve. This is only the beginning of our long-term and multi-faceted venture with Empire and we are beyond excited to explore more fruitful avenues to move forward together,” said Benhur Guzeler, BG Film founder.
Empire Entertainment has more than 100 years of experience in the cinema industry and has worked with major players in the sector, including Sony Pictures and Star Studios, to produce and distribute a multitude of Arabic movies.
More recently, Empire Entertainment partnered with Netflix to co-produce the streaming giant’s first original Arabic language film, “Perfect Strangers,” which quickly became a smash hit in the Middle East when it released in January.
Some new and upcoming movies on Empire’s slate include “Bullet Train,” “Spiderman: No Way Home,” “Brahmastra: Part 1 – Shiva,” “Where the Crawdads Sing” and “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero.”
Serge Zabbal, business director at Empire, said: “We understand that quality comes with diversity and we believe that there is no better time than now for us to expand our portfolio.”
In the last few years, Turkish series have surged in popularity, prompting talents from the country to expand fan bases in overseas markets.
With a wide variety of new content streaming from video-on-demand platforms, Empire Entertainment and BG Film said that they “are hopeful that this strong partnership will lead to the evolution of movie distribution in the MENA region.”