Saudi filmmaking industry’s first step towards global outreach
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen to diversify and enrich the entertainment experience in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.
Art Format Lab, a Saudi company with international business, is contributing to the development of the entertainment and filmmaking industry in the kingdom. The company is specialised in creating Arabic content to be produced to the highest international standards and distributed locally, regionally and globally. Art Format Lab develops all types of programs, including talk shows, documentary films, drama and feature films
Khulud Abu Homos, Chairwoman of Art Format Lab, with 25 years experience in regional and international content creation and media production, said: "Today we are developing formats for various genres of programs, including talk shows, documentaries, drama and films. We are committed to produce innovative Arabic content based on a positive social message which has an international appeal, by focusing on a selection of international program formats from Hollywood, Europe and Asia, which are suitable to be adapted and reproduced in Arabic.”
Abu Homos added that the Art Format Lab was established in 2017 for production of Arabic content of internationally competitive quality. The company develops Arab content in the region in partnership with various studios in Hollywood, such as Universal Studios, Fox, Sony among others and is nurturing local filmmaking talents with the aim of developing the filmmaking industry in the Gulf region.
The company produced Rad Band Society series which was premiered on Abu Dhabi TV in Ramadan 2018 and was awarded by Broadcast Pro for the best drama production in 2018. The series was an adaptation of a Spanish format, bought by Art Format Lab to be reproduced in Arabic.
Dr Mustafa Alaidaroos, CEO of Art Format Lab, said that Entertainment Experience, for which Art Format Lab owns the exclusive rights to implement in the Arab World in collaboration with FCCE, is a one of its kind project that aims to attract and cultivate talents to develop a filmmaking talent pool in the region. It is one of the major projects of Art Format Lab.. The Entertainment Experience is an adaptation of an Emmy awarded Dutch project that was implemented in South Africa, China, Turkey and currently in the UK.
Entertainment Experience is an interactive filmmaking project that attracts local talents to produce a crowdsourced feature film. The project aims to bring the local filmmaking talents, from all ages and experience levels, together on a single online social networking platform. A production team will be formed annually from logged in members of the platform to produce the crowdsourced film. The project consists of seven phases in 36 weeks, led by the Dream Team which is composed of filmmaking celebrities in their respective fields.
Khulud Abu Homos clarified that the project was implemented in the UAE by an initiative of Sharjah Media City (Shams). “There are 2000 members in the platform and we are still in the fourth phase of the initiative. The project caught the attention of the public and served the interests of both amateurs and professionals, alike” she said.
She added: "Sharjah Media City (Shams) formed the Dream Team through this initiative which is composed of renowned professionals in their fields. These include Actor Dr Habib Ghuloom, Director Nahla Al Fahad and scriptwriter Mohammed Hassan Ahmad. The team conducted several workshops and auditions in acting, directing, scriptwriting and cinematography. Participants in the workshops benefited from the knowledge they had acquired in developing their filmmaking productions on the platform.”
Alaidaroos added: "Art Format Lab intends to launch the Entertainment Experience in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the near future, with the aim to develop the Saudi talent pool in filmmaking industry and empowers the Saudi young talents in this sector in line with Saudi Vision 2030. The company invested in preparing the platform of this project and is gearing up to launch the project in the Kingdom.”
Alaidaroos said that Art Format Lab is in the process of producing Mukhtar, the first Saudi film to be shot in the KSA, Egypt and Italy, with the company seeking to expand in film production. The idea of the film revolves around a Saudi explorer who runs a famous travel channel on YouTube narrating an exciting story of one country on every episode, until the YouTuber completes 99 stories, with only one story remaining in his "100 Stories with Gharib" series. He meets different people from different religions and races to produce the 100th story. The film celebrates the dialogue and coexistence with different religions and aims to convey the right image of the Saudi modern young gentlemen who call for moderation and tolerance with others. It is a Saudi film in terms of production, idea, script, music and acting.”