ROME: The future of the film industry in Saudi Arabia, and its regional and international influence, were analyzed during a panel discussion at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy.
“It’s always a pleasure to host events on Saudi Arabia and the Arab world for their engagement in every field of the arts,” Roberto Cicutto, president of the Venice Biennale — the cultural institution organizing the film festival — told Arab News.
He recalled that this year marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Italy and Saudi Arabia.
The panel moderator described the Kingdom as “among the most attractive countries for cinematic production.” All the participants praised the rich reserve of filming locations in Saudi Arabia.
The panel included Abduljalil Al-Nasser, director general of sector development and attracting investments at the Saudi Film Commission; Charlene Deleon-Jones, CEO of Film AlUla; Shivani Pandya, managing director at the Red Sea International Film Festival; and Wayne Borg, managing director of media, entertainment, culture and fashion industries at NEOM.
Established in February 2020, the commission aims to advance the film sector and the production environment in the Kingdom, in addition to stimulating and empowering Saudi filmmakers.
The incentives program that the commission launched to support the film industry in Saudi Arabia was presented in Venice.
Al-Nasser stressed the “high level of coordination between public and private sector institutions in Saudi Arabia to build all parts of the value chain related to the film industry.”
This, he added, is a result of the commission’s awareness of the importance of the creative cycle of the film industry to build a comprehensive sector that serves filmmakers.