How Saudi Arabia plans to become global film-making force

Art Format Lab has announced it is in the process of producing Mukhtar, the first Saudi movie to be shot in the kingdom, Egypt and Italy
How Saudi Arabia plans to become global film-making force
Dr Mustafa Alaidaroos, CEO of Art Format Lab.
By Sam Bridge
Wed 17 Jul 2019 03:24 PM

Art Format Lab, which aims to develop entertainment and cinema in Saudi Arabia, has announced it is in the process of producing Mukhtar, the first Saudi movie to be shot in the kingdom, Egypt and Italy.

The company said the idea of the film revolves around a Saudi explorer who runs a travel channel on YouTube narrating a story of one country on every episode.

The YouTuber completes 99 stories, with only one story remaining in his "100 Stories with Gharib" series.

Dr Mustafa Alaidaroos, CEO of Art Format Lab, said: "The film celebrates the dialogue and coexistence with different religions and aims to convey the right image of the Saudi modern young gentlemen who call for moderation and tolerance with others. It is a Saudi film in terms of production, idea, script, music and acting.”

Saudi Arabia is keen to diversify and enrich the entertainment experience in line with the Saudi Vision 2030 and efforts are in place to enhance private sector contribution to the sector, with the aim of diversifying the economy and raising the GDP growth rate, following the recent cinema openings across the kingdom.

Art Format Lab said it specialises in creating Arabic content to be produced to the highest international standards and distributed locally, regionally and globally.

Khulud Abu Homos, chairwoman of Art Format Lab, said: "Today we are developing formats for various genres of programs, including talk shows, documentaries, drama and films. We are committed to produce innovative Arabic content based on a positive social message which has an international appeal, by focusing on a selection of international program formats from Hollywood, Europe and Asia, which are suitable to be adapted and reproduced in Arabic.”

Abu Homos added that the Art Format Lab was established in 2017 and develops Arab content in the region in partnership with various studios in Hollywood, such as Universal Studios, Fox, Sony and is also nurturing local filmmaking talents with the aim of developing the filmmaking industry in the Gulf region.

Alaidaroos said that the Entertainment Experience, which aims to attract and cultivate local talents, is set to launch in Saudi Arabia in the near future in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Alaidaroos added: "We are optimistic that in the coming period we will see opportunities for the development of Saudi filmmaking young talents as this industry has proven to show great potential in enriching the local content. We aim to guide those energetic talents on the path to a Saudi cinema that has great global outreach in the near future.”

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