LONDON: The Red Sea Fund and Film AlUla announced on Thursday a new partnership to offer filmmakers a production grant to develop projects set in the landscape of AlUla.
Speaking on the grant, the Red Sea Film Foundation’s CEO Mohammed Al-Turki expressed his excitement about providing a platform to empower and nurture new regional talents.
“Our aim as an organization is to uplift and support filmmakers from the Arab and African region and to promote the industry in Saudi Arabia, which is home to incredible filming locations like AlUla,” Al-Turki said.
“We are delighted to have Film AlUla as a partner on this third cycle of funding, which will provide fund recipients the opportunity to bring their creative visions to life on the big screen as well as showcase the beauty and diversity of this country with the backing of two significant partners.”
Film AlUla, the newly appointed strategic partner of the Red Sea Fund’s third production cycle, announced earlier in June, will offer financial production support to filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa region.
The grant will support at least 10 projects from Saudi Arabia, the Arab region, and Africa, with the possibility of increasing the number of projects depending on the selection process by the Red Sea Fund.
The initiative also gives filmmakers the opportunity to complete a portion of filming in the unique AlUla landscape. The grant comes with additional financial, logistical, and administrative support on the ground for filmmakers.
“We are committed to developing a well-rounded film sector in AlUla,” said Charlene Deleon-Jones, executive director, Film AlUla.
“We have an equal partner in the Red Sea Fund, which is at the forefront of designing and implementing inclusive and impactful development programs for up-and-coming talent. We are really excited and looking forward to nurturing this next generation of recipients.”
The films selected for funding will name the Red Sea Fund and Film AlUla as co-producers and Saudi Arabia as a co-production country.
Filmmakers will have creative freedom, with their projects judged solely on production quality, talent, and script. However, a portion of each project must be filmed in AlUla, with feature films requiring 15 percent screen time and shorts requiring 40 percent.
Since its launch in 2021, the Red Sea Film Fund has supported over 170 films, eight of which featured in the official selection for this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, including “Mother of All Lies,” winner of best director for Asmae El Moudir; “Omen,” winner of best new voice for filmmaker Baloji; Kamal Lazraq’s “Hounds,” winner of the jury prize; and Mohamed Kordofani’s “Goodbye Julia,” recipient of the Freedom Prize.