AlUla: A delegation from Film AlUla, the Royal Commission for AlUla’s newly established film agency, arrived at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday to promote international film and TV production in AlUla, a region in northwest Saudi Arabia of outstanding natural and cultural significance.
Having launched at the Berlinale earlier this year, this is the first appearance for the agency at Cannes. Film AlUla also announced its new facilitates, which will accommodate 150 film crew and include production offices, recreational facilities and an outdoor cinema.
The first phase of construction is already underway, with accommodation to be available by the end of 2021.
The 74th Cannes Film Festival will take place from July 6 to 16, 2021. Film AlUla will showcase an extraordinary, mostly unexplored destination, which presents filmmakers and the world at large with some of Earth’s most sensational scenery.
The impressive landscapes located along what was historically known as the Incense Route are home to 200,000 years of history. Including the ancient city of Hegra — the Kingdom’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site — the region features historical sites dating back to the Neolithic era through to the ancient Arabian kingdoms of the Dadanites and Nabataeans, the Roman era and the early Islamic period. AlUla is beginning to attract a growing number of international and regional productions. It will soon welcome the upcoming action thriller “Kandahar,” directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler.
Many local productions including “Noura,” directed by Tawfiq Al-Zaidi and partly financed by the Film Commission at the Ministry of Culture, will also shoot in AlUla.
The region is also attracting a broad range of documentary projects due to its many layers of rich history, culture and untold stories. Production companies that choose to film in AlUla can benefit from a range of incentives such as free bespoke production support, location scouting, expert knowledge of filming in Saudi Arabia, assistance in sourcing equipment and professional crew locally and regionally, and, of course, year-round sunshine.
Producers can also expect a production-friendly setup location and a range of accommodation options with a skilled English-speaking team of experienced and established production experts to guide and support them every step of the way. As well as the new fit-for-purpose film crew accommodation, a range of other accommodations includes the 100-room Habitas AlUla and the 79-room Banyan Tree Ashar Resort, both set to open this autumn.
Film AlUla will be based in the Saudi Pavilion, No. 120, at the festival alongside the Saudi Film Commission, Ministry of Investment, Red Sea International Film Festival, NEOM, MBC, Ithra, Nebras Films, Cinewave, Telfaz 11 and Arabian Pictures.
“Our objective at the Cannes Film Festival is to connect with the international film industry to introduce AlUla as a truly unique and exciting film destination, now open for international production,” said Stephen Strachan, film commissioner at The Royal Commission for AlUla.
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