Emmanuel is a highly-accomplished filmmaker and a passionate global entrepreneur. The Cities of Love film series is the culmination of his 20 years of experience as a creator, a strategist and a producer.

Emmanuel foresaw Asia’s rise in the global film landscape in the mid 90’s and thought of China as the most dynamic market where the next wave of media revolution could happen. He came to Shanghai as early as 1997 to meet the film authorities and has been living in China since 2009.

“Paris, je t’aime” – the first film of the Cities of Love series – opened the Cannes Film Festival 2006 and enjoyed tremendous success worldwide: Emmanuel conceived its narrative structure, artistic and technical specifications, the legal framework to approach talent, and built partnerships with US Guilds. These elements define the Cities of Love franchise and its unique model in today’s film industry, while its licenses are being sold all over the world.

The Cities of Love initiative has since grown exponentially worldwide, spreading across continents and reaching New York, Rio de Janeiro, Berlin, Istanbul, Rotterdam, Jerusalem and Shanghai. The model has gone from producing collective feature-films to building the “communities of the people who love their cities” through creative city-centric media platforms and initiatives.

The Rio, I Love You initiative engaged millions in the community beyond just the film audience, lifting spirits, fostering creative contribution to city life, embarking brands on a responsible journey and supporting sustainable urban development.

Emmanuel is now structuring a network of independent non-profit social enterprises whose purpose is to launch Cities of Love initiatives around the world. The Cities of Love China Foundation is the next step: it will launch such endeavors in greater China, in cooperation with local governments, while coordinating and expanding this network globally.

Cities of Love aspires to become a Chinese endeavor that will focus on global innovation and making media more responsible and positive.

“China has a global opportunity to change the nature of media.”

Contributing to positive media development

Traditional film and media industries are under the influence of increasingly unsound industry logics. Their singular pursuit of profit, therefore of people’s attention at any cost has become detrimental to human development.

Media are controlled in every country, primarily by their owners. Media financed by advertising and brands treat people’s “available brain time” as the ultimate commodity. Instead of creating nurturing content, they tend to appeal to the lowest impulses of their audience with entertainment, giving a large share to fear-driven content, and to sustain people's illusory needs of more products.

Media operators and their circles of influence have been in denial of their negative impact on people and development over long periods of time on a large scale. Their “End of History” vision for media poses incredible threats to our future.

Our future lies in cities. Our cities still depend on traditional film and media industries.

We have an opportunity to create positive media outlets and responsible media ecosystems under the umbrella of these cities whose purpose will be to reconnect us with life, to empower us as urban citizens, and to inspire us to take part in sustainable development.

Vision & Mission


  • Human beings are losing sense of connection.
  • Sustainable living environments are being threatened.

We see great potential in applying innovative media models to the smart and sustainable development of cities.

We build positive content and media platforms aligning commitments for sustainable urban development and human prosperity.


  • Reconnect: disseminate positive, relevant & inspiring content.
  • Empower: lift community’s spirits through series, activations, content, merchandise & film.
  • Innovate: innovate from China to the world & open new ways leading men toward the common good.

Cities of Love as a visionary media model

Built upon rich, city-specific media content:

  • Short & long formats;
  • Documentary & fiction;
  • Cinematic, state-of-the-art storytelling;
  • Positive, participative & socially conscious;
  • Entertaining & meaningful;
  • Continuously unfolding & renewing.

Engaging & interacting with a large audience:

  • Through trustworthy city media brands;
  • Touching social & digital savvy generations;
  • Followed by millions of urban citizens.

Doing well by doing good:

  • Developed by the best creative minds;
  • Respects all stakeholders in the ecosystem;
  • Impacts through city development actions;
  • Generates fair return through value creation.

“Media have a duty to reconnect people, serve development, diversity and peace.”

Cities of Love Platforms:

Recommended Download:

Cities of Love: Creating inspiring content-centric platforms for the cities we love

Click here to see all trailers.

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Emmanuel Benbihy

Regions & Countries
Media & Entertainment

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