The awards aim to acknowledge and support emerging filmmaking talents in the region.
The Red Sea Film Foundation has revealed that Film AlUla will serve as the strategic sponsor for two significant awards at the upcoming Red Sea International Film Festival. The Film AlUla Audience Award, determined by public votes, and the Film AlUla Best Saudi Film Award, recognising and honouring Saudi filmmaking talent, will underscore Film AlUla’s commitment to supporting the Saudi film industry and showcasing AlUla as a cinematic destination and hub for creative talent.
The Red Sea International Film Festival is scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 9, 2023, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Launched by the Royal Commission for AlUla in 2020, Film AlUla functions as a film agency driving the development of creative industries in AlUla. Offering tailored support to film productions from development to delivery, along with financial incentives for using AlUla as a filming location, Film AlUla has hosted more than 700 days of filming, welcoming both regional and international productions.
As the newly appointed strategic partner for the Red Sea Fund’s third production cycle, Film AlUla has joined forces with the Red Sea Fund to provide a production grant for filmmakers with projects set in AlUla, northwest Saudi Arabia. The grant, open to filmmakers from Saudi Arabia, the Arab regions, and Africa, aims to support creative visions and promote the Kingdom’s film industry. Recipients will benefit from Film AlUla’s expertise and on-the-ground support, showcasing AlUla’s stunning landscapes, state-of-the-art facilities, and studios.
In addition to the grant, Film AlUla is sponsoring the Red Sea Lodge Residency, an initiative of the Red Sea Lab. This programme offers a transformative 10-month mentorship in collaboration with the Torino Film Lab. Twelve projects from emerging filmmakers receive industry knowledge and support, with one project selected to receive a $200,000 award during the festival.
Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of 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 organisations. 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 AlUla, added: “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.”