Saudi film industry: “It’s a revolution”

The founder of the Saudi Cinema Association reflects on the journey of its film industry

At the Saudi Film Festival, taking place for the 10th time this week, Ahmed Al Mulla, Founder of the Saudi Cinema Association, reflected on the journey of the Saudi film industry.

“Our filmmakers were dreamers. They made their films underground and then went outside the country to screen them but couldn’t talk about the experience when they returned.

“Now, things changed in the blink of an eye. It’s a revolution, what’s happened in Saudi Arabia with art and culture.”

The British Council Saudi Arabia has partnered with the Saudi Cinema Association to help foster cultural exchange and nurturing emerging talent within the Saudi film industry.

At the heart of the collaboration lies a commitment to capacity building within the Saudi film sector.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 prioritises the development of creative industries, with plenty of opportunities for growth.

Studio Ulster and the Saudi Cinema Association are spearheading a pioneering training programme aimed at empowering Saudi filmmakers with cutting-edge animation skills.

Amany Abouzeid, Regional Arts Director of British Council MENA, highlighted the festival’s role in advancing Saudi Arabia’s cultural agenda,

The Saudi Film Festival coincides with the launch of “Cinematheque AlKhobar,” providing filmmakers access to various aspects of the film industry and offering artistic products, spaces, and events to communities in Alkhobar and beyond.

Red Sea

The Red Sea Film Foundation is also looking to propel Saudi cinema to greater heights.

As part of its engagement, the foundation has set up a dedicated booth within the production market and is set to showcase the film Fever Dreams, a recipient of support from the Red Sea Fund, in the festival’s official competition lineup.

The Saudi Film Festival is organised by the Saudi Film Association in collaboration with the King Abdulaziz World Cultural Association (Ithra).

Through film competitions, script development initiatives, and a diverse array of cultural programs and workshops, the festival serves as a dynamic platform for Saudi filmmakers from across the kingdom.