Only one in sixty films released in the UK is from the Middle East: We ask why

If there was one region that has defined recent politics, it is the Middle East. But so far, this doesn’t seem to have translated into film. Of the 127 films for UK release in January-March 2012, only two were from the Middle East.

By contrast fifty-one films came from the US, and ten each from France and India.

Films released (Jan-Mar 2012) Country Description
This is not a Film Iran Footage of an Iranian director under house arrest
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia Turkey A meditation on life and death in rural Anatolia
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance US/UAE An action film partly filmed in Turkey

It may have been a bad start for the year for Middle Eastern film, but only by a little. In January 2011, one of the months sampled, there was one Middle Eastern film out of 41 for release. In July 2011, there were two. And as two out of three of these films – Bal and Men on the Bridge – were Turkish, only one release would meet a strict definition of Middle Eastern film. That would be the Oscar-winning A Separation.

So why aren’t more Middle Eastern films released in the UK? Middle East London will be looking at other samples to get a better picture. And in the meantime, we’d like to know what you think.

Julia Rampen

Sources: Film Distributors’ Association, Internet Movie Database (IMDB)


About Julia Rampen

London-based journalist. Find me on Twitter @JuliaRampen


  1. Pingback: Review: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia « Middle East LDN

  2. Pingback: Readers attribute lack of Middle Eastern films in the UK to distribution issues « Middle East LDN

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