Film AlUla concluded its participation in the 78th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, held from 1-11 September 2021, where it continued its promotion of international film and TV production in the AlUla region in northwest Saudi Arabia, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The delegation from the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency joined other Saudi entities including the Saudi Film Commission and the Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF), along with a delegation of rising young filmmakers from the region. Following the successful showcase at the Cannes International Film Festival in July, the three organisations continue their mission to build international relationships within the industry and introduce Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning film sector to global audiences.
During the festival, Saudi actor, Yaqoub Al-Farhan, announced his upcoming feature film Norah, this year’s winner of the Saudi Film Commission’s Daw Film Competition. The film will be directed by Tawfik Al-Zaidi, with shooting set to take place in AlUla. Al-Farhan is best known for his roles in the thriller ‘Zero Distance’, and in Shahad Ameen’s award-winning film ‘Scales’, which was selected as Saudi Arabia’s official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 2021 Academy Awards.
Production companies filming in AlUla can benefit from competitive rebates and a range of incentives such as free bespoke production support, location scouting, expert knowledge of filming in Saudi Arabia, assistance in sourcing equipment, and professional film crews from both the Kingdom and neighboring countries. In addition, the construction of the new purpose-built film crew accommodation, Film Camp, was recently completed.
Stephen Strachan, Film Commissioner at the Royal Commission for AlUla, explained: “International festivals such as Venice provide us with a great opportunity to interact with the film community, introduce the incredible and diverse location of AlUla, and promote the Saudi film industry.
We are making great progress in developing the infrastructure and building an ecosystem for filmmaking with easy access to crew, locations and facilities. The region is beginning to draw in a bigger variety of productions, including more foreign productions and we look forward to welcoming them to AlUla.”