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Saudi Arabia to bolster its film industry with $234 million funding

The emphasis is on the sector's small and medium-sized businesses.

Saudi Arabia to bolster its film industry with $234 million funding
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

To develop its entertainment industry and diversify its economy, Saudi Arabia is keen to encourage film production, as it’s one of the fastest-growing cultural sectors in the country. 

Recently, to support the kingdom’s emerging film industry, the Cultural Development Fund (CDF) of Saudi Arabia has announced a $234 million program called Film Sector Financing Program.

It will also fund foreign firms to empower the private sector and boost local content, especially focusing on small and medium enterprises in the sector. 

“We are excited to announce that we have partnered with strategic financial institutions across the country to provide companies working in the film sector with the financial solutions to shore up the film sector, establish financial sustainability for film projects, and enable healthy market dynamics,” said Mohammed Bindayel, chief executive of the fund.

“We invite all financial and investment institutions to join this mission to build and empower this emerging sector,” he added.  

Packages will be divided into two types of funding — lending and investment.  

To improve Saudi Arabia’s cultural environment, the CDF was established in 2021. The CDF and the King Abdulaziz Center for Global Culture collaborated on the creation of cultural projects, the dissemination of information, and the support of local and international talents to enhance the Arabic content.

Meanwhile, two agreements were signed with the CDF’s financial partners Lendo and Sukuk Capital to provide financing packages to companies working in the Saudi film sector.  

The investment cycle will be launched later this year and will support SMEs and large companies in the sector.  

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