Advanced Television

FIlm AlUla launches AlUla Creates

March 9, 2023

Film AlUla has announced the launch of AlUla Creates, a platform designed to nurture creativity and empower future generations in film, the arts and fashion. The launch is part of a year-round programme that will allow new female filmmakers and creatives to collaborate with industry professionals and access development funds to create and share their stories set against the majestic landscapes of AlUla with the world.

The first phase partners with The British Fashion Council (BFC), acclaimed Saudi film actor Mila Al Zahrani, Kloss Films founder Alec Maxwell and renowned fashion icons Helena Christensen and Eva Herzigova as ambassadors to champion the long-term mission of the platform.

AlUla Creates is part of Film AlUla’s wider strategy to develop a film-friendly ecosystem which will include a world-class purpose-built studio and digital creative hub complex in AlUla. As the film industry in Saudi Arabia continues to develop at a rapid pace, AlUla’s and generous financial and support incentives have seen a significant increase in productions shooting in the region.

The programme supports the socio-economic development of the AlUla region, with investment in jobs, training and the creative arts across a range of disciplines. As Film AlUla positions the region as an international filming destination, there is emphasis on producing films in the most efficient way possible, whilst respecting the natural environment, resources, and cultural significance. Film AlUla has also partnered with Eco-Age, an integrated sustainability consultancy, to help build a credible, honest, overarching narrative which respects and elevates the authentic stories of the people, community, and culture. This will align with AlUla’s programme on sustainability which focuses on water, carbon, waste and circular economy, and biodiversity for all parts of the film and tourism sector in AlUla.

AlUla Creates is currently building the infrastructure and global network of mentorships and other resources to support the next generation of female Saudi storytellers pairing them with some of the most accomplished writers, directors and producers to bring their stories to life.

Charlene Deleon-Jones, Executive Director at Film AlUla, said: “More than 70 per cent of the population in Saudi Ariba is under 30 with the fastest growing cinema audience in the world. There is a buzz about the screen sector in homes, schools, and boardrooms. Spending time in the beautiful landscape of AlUla, the streets of Jeddah or homes in Riyadh it is impossible not to take note of the fashion, art warmth, vibrancy and intellect of this generation. AlUla creates is part of this picture providing opportunities for creative development and collaborations across sectors and borders.”

Alec Maxwell, Director at KLOSS Films said: “It feels exciting to work with an all-female crew on this project and contribute to the creative future of Alula.”

In celebration of the 95th Academy Awards as the worlds of fashion and film collide, Saudi female fashion designers, sister duo, Alia and Abeer Olaif of Atelier Hekayat and Arwa Al Ammari of ArAm, have designed three bespoke looks, co-created with and constructed by British fashion designer Emilia Wickstead, for The Oscars Vanity Fair party in LA. The collaboration marks the advent of a long-term partnership between Eco-Age and the designers to deepen sustainability-focused practices within future product conception and overall business.

Caroline Rush, CEO of The BFC said: “Alula Creates provides a platform to support female founders in fashion and film, to share creative processes and access platforms to build international audiences that promote cultural exchanges through a female gaze. Fashion is at the intersection of many creative industries. Through film, the fashion industry builds strong creative narratives and reaches global audiences on a daily basis.  Mentoring and empowering female founders is aligned to our values, and we look forward to contributing to the development of the programme.”

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