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"Our main target was to create an awareness for OMAR before the film premiered in Cannes."

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Caroline Daube • The Match Factory

- What were the strategies to sell the film Omar?

What was the strategy of your social network campaign? 

Our main target was to create an awareness for OMAR before the film premiered in Cannes.

We created a film page on Facebook. We worked in close cooperation with Sarah Calderon from The Film Agency, who carried out our regular Social Media-briefing before and during the festival. 

We launched our visuals like the artwork and our keystills to enhance the number of Facebook-fans. Our main targets were the industry, film fans, fans of Hany’s previous work and also the Arabic world which has an impressive network.

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What was your campaign strategy for Twitter? 

We created a Twitter account for the movie and Sarah posted items almost every day - things to keep it active throughout the content and throughout the Cannes Film Festival. We also provided her with our stills-selection, excerots, our artwork etc. With that material she stayed active on both social networks, Twitter and Facebook, throughout the festival in order to raise awareness of the film. 

The response to OMAR was overwhelming and was crowned by the Un Certain Regard Jury Award. This helped a lot to garner even more attention for the film. In addition to that we instructed Sarah to participate in every event related to the premiere in Cannes and to take photos as well as do some documentation of all the activities happening during the festival. Also after the première she shared the main reviews on both Facebook and Twitter. 

Are you going to send the film to other festivals ? 

Yes of course. It was a World Premiere and now we are working together with the producers on the strategy to decide to which festivals it will go after Cannes.

Has the participation to festivals priority over the cinema release? 

It depends on the distributors' strategy because they plan individually according to their markets. So we always work in close cooperation with the territories that have already bought the film. We discuss, but distributors are responsible for the launch and strategy in their territory. 

So the distributors are quite independent regarding the release of the film? 

We provide them with what we have already built. And with the Facebook page - we are still working on it - to give it to every local distributor so that they can use the community we have already built up. We are working on a calendar and on how to implement rules for the different distributors so that not everything that happens will be visible to everybody

Are distributors also independent regarding the visibility tools?

We always work on the main materials in close cooperation with the producers. We will also provide our distributors with a trailer. In this case, we cooperate with the French distributor Pretty Pictures in a joint venture for the trailer. As for all the other materials, we offer the poster, all the official press stills, and our presskit

What is it like to sell a film from the Arab region? Is it different? Difficult? 

We had a very high awareness already because the director is known and had a very great hit with Paradise Now. So the expectations were already high in Cannes and have been fulfilled by press and buyers.

Besides social networks, what other communication tools have you used? 

Cannes film festival was the launch of the film, so one of the most important tools is to inform our clients with the details of the film in advance. We work in close cooperation with our sales team and our press agent regarding the communication strategies and send various mailings to buyers and press before the festival starts.

We also prepared a presskit with keystills, texts and an interview with the director that reflects the vision and gives an overview of possibilities on how to market the film.

During the festival our press agent Richard Lormand coordinated with all the media. Our goal was to get reviews and various press of the main territories to give the greatest possible exposure to the film and the director.

Of course we also worked with the artwork and the stills of the film to emphasize the stringent and consistent visual strategy.

We also chose strong excerpts of the film to underline the great story-elements and visual artistic tone of the film. They were launched on Facebook as well.  

Is your selling timing depending on the Cannes film festival? 

The most active timeline for our activities was before and after the premiere. 

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