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Saudi Arabia launches $100m film fund to boost local cinema

MEFIC Capital and Cultural Fund launch $100 million film fund to elevate Saudi cinema and foster worldwide collaborations (X/@cdf_sa)
MEFIC Capital and Cultural Fund launch $100 million film fund to elevate Saudi cinema and foster worldwide collaborations (X/@cdf_sa)
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19 Feb 2024 10:02:32 GMT9
19 Feb 2024 10:02:32 GMT9

Arab News

JEDDAH: MEFIC Capital has unveiled the Saudi Film Fund, with a capital injection of SR375 million ($100 million) and 40 percent of its budget coming from the Kingdom’s Cultural Development Fund.

The move underscores Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning film sector and aims to spur investment in infrastructure projects in content production and distribution.

The Saudi Film Fund marks a strategic leap toward elevating local productions to international standards and marks the Cultural Fund’s maiden investment venture.

In collaboration with MEFIC Capital and Roaa Media Ventures, the initiative seeks to bolster international partnerships with major studios and deliver content that mirrors Saudi culture and values.

Roaa Media Ventures, the fund’s technical partner, plays a pivotal role with extensive industry expertise.

The initiative stems from the initial agreement inked by the Cultural Development Fund with MEFIC Capital and Roaa Media Ventures at the Cannes International Film Festival, aligning with the Film Sector Financing Program, aiming to bolster digital content in the Kingdom.

The Saudi film sector has seen an annual growth rate surpassing 25 percent, making it the largest consumer market for creative and cinematic content in the Arab world. This growth, fueled by the Ministry of Culture’s initiatives and the Quality of Life Program, aligns with Vision 2030’s objectives, reflecting a rising demand for cinematic works resonating with local consumers.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the Red Sea International Film Festival for the fourth consecutive year in December. The event is scheduled to take place at RSIFF’s new headquarters in Al-Balad, Jeddah, from Dec. 5-14.

Last year the festival featured 125 films from 75 countries. Its jury, led by acclaimed writer, director, and producer Baz Luhrmann, evaluated 17 feature films and 25 short films.

RSIFF represents a pivotal moment in the Kingdom’s cultural renaissance. As a premier event in the region, it not only displays the diversity and creativity of global cinema but also shines a spotlight on the flourishing Saudi film scene.

By offering a platform for Saudi filmmakers to showcase their work alongside international peers, the festival encourages the exchange of ideas, collaboration, and inspiration.

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