Lebanon Businessnews News

Labaki’s film rights
sold in 60 countries
Initial cost of Capharnaüm already covered
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Nadine Labaki’s film ‘Capharnaüm’, which earned the Jury Prize at the 71st edition of Cannes Film Festival, has achieved huge commercial success.

The film was produced by Mooz Films, a recent company established by Khaled Mouzanar. He said that another company named Capharnaüm Films bought the rights from Mooz films for worldwide distribution. This company is owned by a group of investors that includes Akram Safa and Cedrus Bank, among others.

The film’s budget was $4 million. “The high cost of the film was due to the long shooting duration, which took six months,” Mouzanar said. “The film was in post-production for a year and a half.” Around 1,000 people participated in the production, with 100 acting in the film.

The company that bought the rights to the film took a $3 million loan subsidized by the Central Bank, Mouzanar said. Cedrus Bank created an investment fund that it used to guarantee the loan. Doha Foundation provided a grant to start the film. “It wasn’t difficult to convince investors because Labaki’s films already have a good reputation at the box office,” Mouzanar said. Labaki’s previous film, ‘Caramel’, sold $13 million at the box office.

Wild Bunch, a European film distribution company, will distribute Capharnaüm in 60 countries including Japan, China, Portugal, and Taiwan, Mouzanar said.

Sony Pictures Classics acquired North American and Latin American rights to Capharnaüm for $1 million as well as a share of the box office sales. Gaumont, a French film distributor, acquired French rights.

Mouzanar said that Capharnaüm Films will distribute the film locally. Saleh Kamel's Arab network ART bought the rights for television before shooting of the film began.

“The film covered the cost with the minimum guarantee paid by distributor companies so far,” Mouzanar said. Any additional profits will be disbursed among the distributors, producers, and investors. He said that this successful case study will encourage investors to invest in the local film industry.

Labaki’s Capharnaüm tells the tale of Zain, a 12-year-old boy born into poverty without a birth certificate in the country, who is suing his parents for having brought him into the world. It will be displayed in the local cinemas in September, and then worldwide.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: May 29, 2018
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