The “Film Forum” starts in Riyadh to support the film industry and enhance its position globally
Participants in the “Saudi Film Forum”, which was launched (Sunday) in Riyadh, to discuss the sector’s opportunities and anticipate the future of film production, said that Saudi Arabia, in light of the unprecedented support witnessed by the film sector, has an important opportunity to convey its story, and reflect the positive transformations it is witnessing, to… The world is cinematic, as cinema is a common global language and has a wide and unparalleled influence in building positive images of societies.
On Sunday, the work of the “Saudi Film Forum” in its first edition began, which continues from October 1 to October 4 in the city of Riyadh, and an elite group of the most prominent international filmmakers, producers, directors, investors, and various international media outlets participate. To promote filmmaking, highlight its importance to national economies, and review the reality and future of filmmaking in the Kingdom.
Hamid Fayez, Saudi Deputy Minister of Culture, said that art and culture represent the spirit of Saudi society, and they are two basic pillars in the development process, pointing out that the Ministry of Culture and the Film Commission, in light of the “Saudi Vision 2030” launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seek to build a future. Bright for film and arts industry. Fayez pointed out that the “Saudi Film Forum” will help support the film industry, explaining that work is underway to develop the forum into a platform and gathering point for the value chain in the film industry, contributing to the exchange of experiences and facilitating communication between local artists and creators and international filmmakers.
Fayez stressed during the opening ceremony of the forum that Saudi Arabia believes in the power of cinema and films and their prominent role in changing reality for the better and spreading Saudi culture throughout the world, pointing to continuing to support artistic and cinematic initiatives and contributing to developing skills and expanding the horizons of creativity.
The Saudi box office is the largest in the Middle East
Abdullah Al-Ayyaf, Chairman of the Saudi Film Authority, said that any follower of what is happening in the field of cinema clearly notes the bright future of this sector in Saudi Arabia. Al-Ayyaf explained that the Saudi box office leads the Middle East region despite its modernity, and that the box office revenues since the opening of the cinemas Cinema in Saudi Arabia in 2018 and until the end of the second half of this year exceeded three billion riyals, through the sale of more than 51 million tickets, while the number of cinemas reached 69 in more than 20 Saudi cities, and the number of cinema screens reached 627. screen, and that the numbers are increasing, and the journey is just beginning.
For his part, Saleh Al-Khabati, Undersecretary of the Saudi Ministry of Investment, said that the support provided to the film sector in Saudi Arabia reinforces Saudi Arabia’s drive to be the “Hollywood” of the Arab world, and to achieve the goals of improving the film sector, and this requires working to develop practical solutions to address the challenges faced by filmmakers. Taking into account the concerns of investors, and facilitating regulatory and legislative issues that support the industry, he explained that the financing systems that Saudi Arabia provided through a number of national entities are continuing to work, hoping that local companies will grow to the level of ambition, and that other emerging companies will follow in their footsteps on the path to maturity.
Saudi Arabia has an opportunity to convey its story to the world cinematically
Tariq Bin Ammar, the international film producer, said that Saudi Arabia’s wealth lies in its youth, and that Saudi Arabia will lead the film industry sector in the region, turning it into a strong engine to drive production after other Arab capitals were the center of gravity in this industry, while the hope of the Arabs today is pinned. In resuming the Arab production movement that expresses the region’s culture and values, the Saudis must develop a distinctive experience of Arab culture that is open to others.
Bin Ammar continued: “I was greatly impressed by the level of what I saw in this forum and the accompanying exhibition, and I felt closely the strength of the transformation that Saudi Arabia is witnessing in all fields, including the film sector, and the influence exerted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his openness to all cultures.” .
Bin Ammar pointed out that the Saudi market is encouraging and stimulating, and that Saudi Arabia has something to create and offer for this aspiring society, stressing that the beginning is from the local market, and transforming local stories into global dimensions, through ingenious methods of addressing elements of national culture, and presenting them to the world. He stressed that if the local market begins to encourage and support local production, the whole world will pay attention to it and contribute to transmitting Saudi culture to the world and correcting stereotypes that have long been inconsistent with the truth.
In terms of developing the capabilities of the film production sector, Bin Ammar says that Saudi Arabia is a country enormous in its diversity, and has different terrain, and the sector also enjoys great support and funding, which means a promising opportunity in this field, noting that investment must be wisely, and according to a clear plan to build… Projects and businesses with returns, so that the sector can support the national economy, and encourage a stimulating and productive circular movement that benefits society.
For his part, Jason Claude, founder and CEO of Creative Wealth Media, said that Saudi Arabia, in light of this great support witnessed by the film sector, has a great opportunity to present its story to the world, benefiting from the world’s aspiration to know a lot about this culture, which is rich in details. Full of rich and different experiences and visions.
Claude pointed out that the new generation does not consume content in the traditional way, but rather looks forward to new film experiences, and that production companies and studios are required to create new models that meet market shifts, taste, and new consumption trends, to build on previous experiences and launch a new phase in the film production process.
Workshops to support the industry and advance the sector
During the program of sessions and discussions that began on Sunday, with the participation of an elite group of global influencers in the film industry, the forum focuses on three main axes: industry trends, global practices, and challenges and opportunities in the film industry, with the participation of more than 100 participants, about 50 speakers, and the participation of entities. Multiple reviews of its services, the most important innovations and modern technologies.
The cinematic event includes an exhibition in which international and local production bodies and national entities concerned with supporting the film sector participate. Training workshops are also held during the forum days, and practical training sessions are provided by specialists. To highlight various topics, the most prominent of which is the Inspiration Zone, where top creatives share their journeys and key industry trends.
The innovation zone, dedicated to displaying the latest technologies and new product concepts, enables talented and interested people to be empowered by providing interactive platforms and new technologies to unleash their ideas, and work to support their talent and enable their performance. There is an experiment zone that presents visitors with the latest developments and trends in the film industry, and a business zone that will witness the signing of agreements. And holding various meetings and partnerships.