The Film AlUla Audience Award and Film AlUla Best Saudi Film Award are designed to recognize and empower new filmmaking talents in the region
The Red Sea Film Foundation announced today that Film AlUla will be the strategic sponsor of two awards at the Red Sea International Film Festival. The Film AlUla Audience Award, based on public votes, and the Film AlUla Best Saudi Film Award, which will recognize and reward Saudi filmmaking talent, supporting both the Saudi film industry and raising awareness of Film AlUla as a cinematic destination, filmmaking hub, and incubator of creative talent.
The Royal Commission for AlUla launched Film AlUla in 2020 as its film agency to drive the development of the creative industries in AlUla. Film AlUla currently offers bespoke support to film productions, from development to delivery, as well as financial incentives to use AlUla as a filming location. Since opening its doors, the entity has hosted over 700 days of filming, welcoming both regional and international productions.
As the newly appointed strategic partner of the Red Sea Fund’s third production cycle, Film AlUla has also partnered with the Red Sea Fund to offer a production grant to filmmakers with projects set in AlUla, in northwest Saudi Arabia. The grant is open to new and established filmmakers from Saudi Arabia, the Arab regions, and Africa, with the goal of supporting their creative visions and help bring them to life. This partnership will enable the continued promotion of the film industry in the Kingdom, while showcasing AlUla’s breath-taking and diverse landscapes as well as its state-of-the-art facilities and studios.
In addition to the grant, recipients will benefit from Film AlUla’s team of experts providing on-the-ground support, troubleshooting in all areas of production. Filmmakers will be given free rein on the creative concept and judged purely on the quality of the production, talent, and script. In turn, the project will have to base a portion of the production in AlUla.
As part of their continuous collaboration with the Red Sea Film Foundation, Film Al Ula is also sponsoring The Red Sea Lodge Residency, one of the Red Sea Lab’s initiatives, which offers a transformative 10-month mentorship program in collaboration with the Torino Film Lab. Through the Lodge program, 12 projects from new and exciting filmmaking voices are selected to receive access to industry knowledge and support from experts across all factions of the film industry. During the festival, assistance in applying to the Red Sea Fund and Souk will be provided and one project will be selected to receive an award of $200,000 to help kickstart the project.
Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea Film Foundation, said: “This sponsorship support builds on many years of successful collaboration between Film AlUla and the Red Sea Film Foundation to empower regional filmmaking talent and Saudi Arabia as a filming destination, a core focus for both organizations. The Kingdom has so much to offer to new filmmakers and are thrilled to see all local talent who have applied to take advantage of the incredible support offered through the Fund. With this new partnership, Film AlUla is further championing homegrown talent through the Best Saudi Film Award, as well as crowning the favourite film of our festival attendees, and we look forward to celebrating the winners of the prestigious awards at the festival next month.”
Charlene Deleon-Jones, Executive Director of Film Al Ula, said: “There are a number of ground-breaking initiatives in Saudi Arabia focused on providing a platform for and developing talent. Much like Film AlUla, the Red Sea Film Foundation plays a central role in propelling the Saudi film industry and engineering opportunities for international collaboration.”
The Red Sea International Film Festival is a dynamic platform for developing connections and sharing expertise with global peers, all while championing the very best of talent in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East and Africa.
Film AlUla’s sponsorship of two prestigious awards—the Audience Award and Best Saudi Film Award—celebrates the unifying influence of storytelling.”
The Red Sea International Film Festival will take place from the 30th of November to 9thth of December 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.