A bespoke platform will be launched with the first applications expected to start coming in during Q1 2022.
Saudi Film Commission has launched an initiative to help local and international production companies to shoot movies in the Kingdom.
The commission said that incoming fiction features, documentaries, and animation projects shooting in Saudi Arabia will be eligible for a cash rebate worth up to 40% in qualifying costs.
The announcement took place during the first Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah. It comes as part of the commission’s key pillars and strategic steps to position Saudi Arabia as a global destination for the film industry.
The initiative strives to provide aspiring film talent with a platform to develop and grow in the sector by giving them training programs, including on-the-job training locally and internationally, which will help create more permanent job opportunities within the local film industry.
Speaking about the programme, Abdullah Al Eyaf, CEO of Saudi Film Commission, said: “We have been working hard to develop a competitive incentive package for local and international movie makers and content creators. Our ambition is high, we want Saudi to become a global hub for film, creative production and industry talent. The benefits of developing a world-class film industry go beyond the sector and will strengthen the Saudi cultural ecosystem as a whole, driving economic growth and creating jobs across the country.”
Of the various global models for film incentives, the film commission will rely on cash rebates repaid to producers as a percentage of qualifying expenditure. Organised by the Saudi Film Commission, the scheme is expected to receive its first applications by the end of Q1 2022, with a new platform set to be launched.
The commission aims to cover the expenses that come with production projects, from covering the expenses of producers, directors, lead actors and actresses, and screenwriters, as well as covering the expenses of production site crews and expenses related to rental equipment and designated production sites.
The film commission also gave details of its strategy, which includes developing home-grown talent, creating competitive services and incentives, boosting Saudi production, attracting international shoots, creating a strong regulatory framework and promoting Saudi films and TV series at home and internationally.
Al Eyaf continued: “The strategy provides our roadmap to achieve our aspirations, working across the entire value chain to enable the sector. From talent development, infrastructure, and incentives, to create a regulatory environment that drives the swift development of the sector, whilst increasing demand for Saudi produced movies through exhibition and distribution.”