The proliferation of film festivals in the Middle East has successfully turned international attention towards the region's fledgling film production industry.
Yet, despite token headlines in international industry dailies, serious questions remain over what real, lasting benefits these events actually provide the local film production industry.
Certainly, discounting the heyday of the 1970s, the Middle East industry's output cannot compare to established markets like North America, the Asian sub-continent or Europe.
But this should in no way reflect poorly on the number of stories that remain to be told in this region, nor the aspiration of filmmakers to deliver them to local and international markets.
The problem, as always, is that regional film funding schemes have to date failed to deliver on their promise. Some have even turned their attention away from the region in favour of financing substandard Hollywood fare.
The other issue is that most international filmmakers-cum-festival attendees, whose mere presence create headlines internationally, eye the events as little more than an opportunity to enjoy a week-long sanitised version of the Middle East 'experience', while pitching for future production funding from pliable Arab investors.
So what of the future of these events and Middle East film production in general? Is their influence on Arab cinema and film production little more than token? Conversely, which regional film festival in your opinion has best promoted the cause of Arab cinema to date?
Have your say now!