Saudi Film Commission Announces Incentives for Local and International Producers

13 Dec, 2021 SPA | min read

The Film Commission saved the best for last at the Red Sea International Film Festival by unveiling a first glimpse of their film incentives package.

The Film Commission saved the best for last at the Red Sea International Film Festival by unveiling a first glimpse of their film incentives package.

The Commission announced incentives for filming in Saudi Arabia, including feature length, documentaries, and animation projects, will receive a cash rebate expected to equate to up to 40% of qualifying costs, making it one of the world’s most competitive incentive packages, even amongst established film markets.


On the announcement, the Film Commission CEO Abdullah Al Eyaf 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. A bespoke platform will be launched, and first applications are expected to be received by the end of quarter one, 2022.


The announcement follows on from the Film Commission’s recent strategy launch, that sets out a roadmap to make Saudi Arabia a world-class film production hub.



The Film Commission’s strategy focuses on six areas:


1. Ensuring a world-class talent pipeline and that homegrown talent can compete at a global level;

2. Creating a film sector that competes in terms of services, offerings and incentives;

3. Boosting domestic film production;

4. Attracting international production 

houses;

5. Embedding a regulatory framework that enhances the quick development of the sector; and

6. Promoting and distributing Saudi films in regional and international markets.


CEO 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 creating a regulatory environment that drives the swift development of the sector, whilst increasing demand for Saudi produced movies through exhibition and distribution.”


The film incentives reveal was made at the culmination of the first ever Red Sea International Film Festival. With the cinema industry in Saudi becoming one of the fastest growing in the Middle East, the sector has firmly established itself as the emerging market to watch.


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