After a highly successful first outing at the Cannes Film Festival, the Saudi Film Commission is celebrating the raft of deals signed and partnerships forged by the kingdom’s leading film entities at the Saudi Pavilion.
The industry’s eyes were firmly fixed on the abundance of Saudi film talent after it was announced that the Red Sea International Film Festival’s (RSIFF) Red Sea Fund would receive an additional $4 million in funding from the Saudi Film Commission. The Fund, now totaling $14 million, is set to empower a larger pool of talented Saudi and Arab filmmakers and will support the development of 100 feature films and short projects.
Red Sea Fund is set to receive an additional $4 million of funding from the Saudi Film Commission, taking total funding to $14m.
The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture – Ithra announced it would release two new films in 2023, including the coming-of-age story, Valley Road, by award-winning independent filmmaker Khalid Fahad, and an Ithra-commissioned film by celebrated Egyptian screenwriter and producer, Mohamed Hefzy.
Further announcements included a new partnership agreed between Cinewaves Films and the Saudi Film Festival, which saw the Saudi film distribution company acquire the distribution rights to 10 new movies from the festival’s 7th edition.
Reflecting on the success of the Saudi Pavilion, Abdullah Al-Qahtani, the Film Commission’s CEO, said: “It has been the greatest pleasure to showcase the very best of the Saudi film sector here at the Cannes Film Festival. Ten days of productive meetings have resulted in several exciting partnerships for Saudi film entities and have led to an exciting buzz around Cannes that Saudi really is the sector’s next big market. We can’t wait to see this translate into continued growth for the sector, as well as investment and partnerships over the coming months. As Cannes prepares to close its doors until 2022, the door to the Saudi film sector remains firmly open, and we look forward to welcoming the international film community to the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah in December to bookend the year.”
Saudi company, Cinewaves Films, acquires distribution rights to 10 films from the official selection of the 7th Saudi Film Festival.
The cinema industry in Saudi Arabia is the fastest growing in the Middle East – in production, consumption of films and streaming programming. The dynamism of the sector is creating a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity for international filmmakers, producers and creatives who wish to collaborate with or create content for the Saudi film market – which is expected to be worth $1.2 billion by 2030.
Saudi Arabia is undergoing a cultural transformation as part of Vision 2030, which is diversifying the economy. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture, the cultural sector is set to contribute more than $23 billion to the Saudi economy and 100,000 jobs over the next decade.