Netflix launches programme to upskill television producers in Saudi

The seven-week programme will be available exclusively through the University of Southern California

Streaming service Netflix has launched a training programme that will help upskill 15 professional Saudi television creative producers.

The seven-week creative producer training programme will be available exclusively through the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts (SCA).

The initiative will take participants through the process of creating, forming, and executing a TV pitch, pilot script, and writer’s room. It is being led by SCA alumni and film/television writer and producer, Jason Shuman.

Netflix worked with USC to design the programme, which aims to generate a network of talent for the regional and global film industry, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The training will provide the necessary skills and opportunities to Saudi producers to break new ground and advance their career in film and television.

The programme initiated with a three-day, in-person training in Riyadh, covering a range of skills required to develop TV shows. A series of online workshops are currently underway.

“The booming entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia presents an incredible opportunity for aspiring creatives to grow, learn, and advance their careers,” said Nuha El Tayeb, content director Middle East, Turkey, and Africa at Netflix.

“Knowledge transfer is critical to building this thriving creative community, and partnerships like the one with USC, allow us to expose promising talent to the tools and industry insight needed to create best in class content.”

In October 2022, Netflix signed a partnership with SPT in Saudi Arabia to help train and upskill 15 young talents in the kingdom through on set training and workshops focused on art department and production roles.

In 2022, it also signed a five-year exclusive partnership with Saudi Arabian animation studio Myrkott to produce Saudi-focused shows and films.

By Zainab Mansoor

A version of this article first appeared in Gulf Business.