Landing Its International Premiere at Arab Cinema Center
A Market Screening for Warda at Berlinale's European Film Market
After its roaring success across theatres in the Arab world, the spine-chilling thriller Warda will be part of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival within its European Film Market (EFM), one of the world's major film events. The film will screen through the 1st Arab Cinema Center (ACC) which lands its first edition through the festival this year. Organized by MAD Solutions, the ACC is a new step taken by the company as part of its long-term strategy to support and promote the Arab filmmaking industry in the Arab world.
Directed by Hadi El Bagoury and written by Scriptwriter/Producer Mohamed Hefzy, Warda is produced by Film Clinic and The Producers, in co-production with Aroma Pictures.
Expressing his excitement on the film's participation at Berlinale, Hani Osama, co-founder at
The Producers, stated, "From the very beginning, Warda was an interesting experience; the film was a new challenge to present such an unconventional film genre to Arab audience. And now, the film is scoring a record by landing its international premiere at the prestigious European Film Market, opening great opportunities to The Producers in the international film market beyond the Arab world. We are very proud that Warda is being hosted at one of the world's major film festivals in Europe."
Distributed by MAD solutions, the company has operated a new and unique marketing strategy by organizing a test screening for Warda prior to its theatrical release to gauge audiences' reactions. Based on the audiences' remarks on the film's ending, the filmmakers, for the first time in the Arab filmmaking community, revamped the final cut. Also, Warda is the first Arab film to be created in found-footage style and the first film to be released across 4 Arab countries at the same time.
Warda was released in theaters on November 13th, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Cairo time). An out-of-season record breaker, the film's premiere night witnessed massive attendance as all the theatres were immensely packed- out and tickets were sold out. Although Warda was not released during the holiday season, the film has smashed the box office records, stealing the spotlight from its rivals in last November.
Warda traces a video blogger who returns to his Egyptian countryside home to document and investigate strange happenings that have been disturbing his family since the death of his father.
In an unconventional marketing campaign, only 3 weeks before the film's release across theatres, MAD Solutions launched 3 teaser trailers of the highly-anticipated feature Warda, which left the audience more awaited.
Part of its marketing plan, MAD Solutions has started 3 innovative competitions and distributed several giveaways which included more than 200 items with a varied collection of promotional items in addition to free invitations to see the film. The first competition is done in collaboration with Filfan website, where audiences should post on the film's Facebook page their own spooky stories and disclose their creepy encounters with ghosts and mysterious apparition. The second competition implied that the contestants should take a collective selfie with the posters of Warda which were widely spread in theatres, on buses, on TV ads, and outdoor billboards as well as the internet.
As for the last competition, a Warda Man toured Egyptian streets, offering promotional items and giveaways to those who can recognize him. The place where Warda Man showed up was announced on the film's official page on Facebook based on the viewers' requests.
Warda has stirred a wave of controversy on social media platforms for its unprecedented subject, which has never been traced in Egyptian cinema. Within less than a month, Warda's official Facebook page has reached 117,000 fans, placing it among the top 5 fastest-growing entertainment pages in Egypt, and comments increased to more than 50,000.
The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is the first Arab gathering of its kind across international film festivals, and functions as an international platform to promote Arab cinema and as a channel to provide access to Arab films and talents. Through its diverse activities, it will disseminate information internationally concerning film production in the Arab world, creating an opportunity for Arab filmmakers to explore and network with the international film industry professionals, production companies' representatives, distribution slates and the organizations investing in co-productions.
Berlin International Film Festival is regarded as an exciting, cosmopolitan cultural hub as it annually attracts 20,000 film professionals and media figures from all over the world. It is one of the biggest cinema platforms with more than 300,000 sold tickets from 400 films, taking part in each edition. In 2014, Berlinale attracted nearly 490,000 cinephiles and its EFM (5-13 February) is considered one of the most 3 important film markets in the world.
Warda's screening time at the European Film Market: Tuesday, February 10 at 10:45 am at CineStar 1 hall.