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MBC Group strengthens ties with USC

Middle Eastern broadcaster MBC Group has launched an initiative designed to build closer working ties between Hollywood and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Ali Jaber

The Creative Communities Collaboration (CCC) is a public-private association of global media and entertainment executives set up in LA by MBC in partnership with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (USC).

It comes after MBC first partnered with the private media school in 2016 to organise entertainment industry gatherings and professional exchange programmes with the aim of promoting tolerance through positive storytelling in the Arab world.

A group of 17 Arab television writers and producers are set to graduate from specialised USC professional workshops with top Hollywood showrunners, funded by the US State Department.

A recent event held in Beverly Hills to launch CCC was attended by participants including Sam Barnett, CEO of MBC Group; Catherine Collins, director of film, TV and digital media programmes at the US Department of State; and Elizabeth M Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

MBC group TV director Ali Jaber said: “These cross-cultural initiatives are crucial to us, particularly in this current media climate. We want to provide the opportunity for both US and MENA TV production entities to discover and work with one another’s talent and provide opportunities for younger generations that were not previously available.

“We believe in the power of positive storytelling and the effect it has on communities in the Arab world. Through the Creative Communities Collaboration, we aspire to provide new opportunities for inspirational stories to come to life via the medium of television.”

Daley added: “Our joint initiatives focus on bringing cultures together. Our specialised workshops focus on finding the common ground in what unites us, sharing best practices, values and mutual understanding between both communities. We look forward to further working with MBC Group on the new Creative Communities Collaboration.”

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