x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Hollywood's $8bn directors top the bill at summit

The director behind Avatar and Titanic, the two largest-grossing films of all time, to attend Abu Dhabi Media Summit. - with video.

James Cameron is to open next week's Abu Dhabi Media Summit. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck
James Cameron is to open next week's Abu Dhabi Media Summit. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck

Two of Hollywood's biggest directors, whose movies have made more than US$8 billion (Dh29.38bn) at the box office, are heading to the capital for next week's Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

James Cameron, who was behind Avatar and Titanic, the two largest-grossing films of all time, will open the summit on Tuesday. He will join Carlos Saldanha, the director of the Ice Age series, for a presentation on 3D-film animation later in the week.

The 3D science-fiction film Avatar made $2.8bn in ticket sales, beating the previous record of $1.8bn held by Titanic. Mr Saldanha's most recent Ice Age movie, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, took $887 million at the box office.

The two directors will appear alongside a number of big-name media executives at the media summit, which runs from March 15 to 17.

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Mr Cameron will open the invitation-only event, along with James Murdoch, the chief executive of News Corp in Europe and Asia.

Others attending will include Yuri Milner, the Facebook investor; Jim Gianopulos, the chief executive of Fox Filmed Entertainment; and Brian Message, the manager of the British band Radiohead.

Key speakers at the event include executives from companies including Google, Nokia, Fox International Channels, Thomson Reuters, Vivendi, Vevo and Akamai Technologies.

The summit will be hosted by Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), which owns and publishes The National.

A key theme of the event is the demand for high-quality content in the media industry, said Saeed al Hajeri, a board member at ADMC and the chairman of the company's executive committee.

"We wanted to concentrate our dialogue around the very thing that drives people to buy and invest in these latest platforms: great content," said Mr al Hajeri.

"It must be a number one priority for the media industry to ensure that as much energy and investment goes into nurturing creative talent as it does technology. That is the only way the media industry can be sustainable."

About 350 media executives are expected at the conference, which will be held at the Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and Wednesday, before moving to Emirates Palace on Thursday.

The co-chairs of the event include Mohamed Mubarak al Mazrouei, the chairman of ADMC; Sheikh Waleed bin Ibrahim al Ibrahim, the chairman of MBC Group; and Ibrahim Ajami, the chief executive of Advanced Technology Investment Company.

 

bflanagan@thenational.ae