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Saudi announces $100 million investment in the film industry at Cannes

The investment will be used to nurture local talent and cater to the development, production and distribution of films

Saudi announces $100 million investment in the film industry at Cannes
[Source photo: IMDb | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The fast-growing movie industry of Saudi Arabia is about to see more developments soon. Representatives of the Saudi Cultural Development Fund at the Cannes Film Festival in France announced that the department would invest $100 million in the industry to fund film and media development in the Kingdom.

Partnering with MEFIC Capital and holding company ROAA Media Ventures, the CDF launched the first Film Investment Fund for local and international investors. The investment will cater to the production and distribution of films and will promote local talent in the Kingdom and the region at large.  

Chief strategy and business development officer of the Cultural Development Fund, Najla AlNomair, said that with the fund’s launch, the CDF aims to allow the participation of the financial sector in the development of the film industry. 

Redha Alhaidar, chairman of ROAA Media Ventures, said that while the entertainment sector of the Kingdom is growing rapidly, there was a need to address three main barriers to its growth, limited access to funds and international partnerships, lack of proper infrastructure and shortage of local talent.

“There is a wealth of untapped creative talent in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East. By investing in local film projects, skills development, and industry infrastructure, we can help unleash the region’s storytelling potential and support the creation of authentic, high-quality content that attracts international investment and competes on the global stage,” he said.

The CDF launched the film sector financing program initiative at the start of 2023 with a budget of $234 million to boost creatives. The Saudi cinema box office will reach $950 million in seven years. 

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