Netflix training program offers young Saudi talent a shot at the big time

Netflix training program offers young Saudi talent a shot at the big time
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Updated 11 October 2022

Netflix training program offers young Saudi talent a shot at the big time

Netflix training program offers young Saudi talent a shot at the big time
  • Company teams up with Saudi partner to run workshops in art, production
  • 15 candidates will get to work on a Netflix show

DUBAI: A Saudi company has teamed up with Netflix to launch a program to nurture young talent across the Kingdom in the fields of art and production.

Devised by Studio Production Training in collaboration with the US streaming giant, the “Below the Line KSA” scheme aims to establish an infrastructure of so-called below-the-line talent by providing 15 young people with access to vocational and practical training.

The program comprises two 10-day workshops, each geared to different aspects of the art and production processes.

The first, which gets underway next month, will focus on production design, art direction and set building, while the second, which starts in January, is geared more toward those interested in a career as a line producer, production manager or assistant director.

Each of the 15 candidates will also have the opportunity to join a Netflix production, working as an assistant director, line producer, production manager or assistant, art director or prop master.

Hajar Alnaim, co-founder and CEO of SPT, said: “As a producer myself, one area that I know must grow is our pool of below-the-line talent. I feel this is a vital group of professionals that’s essential for our shared success and is underserved in development at the moment.

“That’s where the idea for SPT was born — a solution that benefits our entire industry, not just the company offering the training or the production that is training its own crew. This is about competing and creating at the highest level.”

She added that SPT’s goal was to create “a film industry that works for Saudis, not just emulates other countries.”

The company had been developing this strategy for several years, Alnaim said, consulting with experts in education and production, and leveraging its own experience to create a program that would help build a holistic film industry in the Kingdom.

Deana Nassar, regional manager of Netflix’s training program Grow Creative, said: “The burgeoning entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia presents a multitude of opportunities for young talent and partnerships like the one with SPT to help incubate this untapped potential.

“There is an incredible caliber of talent and stories that make up the larger creative community in the region, and we’re honing in on them to help showcase the breadth and depth of Arab creativity.”

Netflix is currently working with its production partners in Saudi Arabia, who will nominate people from their teams to participate in the program. The candidates can be Saudi nationals or residents.