Al Ula, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Concert of Renaud Capucon, 4-5 JAN 2019. Photo © Ammar Abd Rabbo

AlUla Film’s Exciting Collaboration With Vertigo Films

Discover the exciting opportunity for Saudi female filmmakers to shine on the global stage with AlUla Film’s new short film competition in collaboration with Vertigo Films and acclaimed director Haifaa Al-Mansour. The “AlUla Creates” initiative aims to empower the next generation of filmmakers, promoting creativity and diversity in the film industry.

In a bold move to encourage Saudi female filmmakers to take center stage, AlUla Film, under the Royal Commission for AlUla, has unveiled an exciting short film competition. Partnering with the global production company Vertigo Films and celebrated director Haifaa Al-Mansour, the competition seeks to support and launch the careers of three talented Saudi female directors in the international film arena.

The “Al Ula Creates” initiative is not just about discovering new talent; it’s an empowering platform for the new and upcoming young minds to participate in the ever-evolving worlds of film, art, and fashion. The initiative sets out to provide aspiring filmmakers with an opportunity to enhance their skills and gain exposure through a series of engaging programs and mentorship.

With the second phase of the AlUla Film Incubation Program at hand, the selected filmmakers will receive expert guidance from industry professionals who have left an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape. In addition to mentorship, the participants will receive the essential tools and resources needed to nurture their projects and shape the future of filmmaking in Saudi Arabia

The call for entries to the “AlUla Creates” competition is open until August 31, 2023. Saudi female filmmakers are encouraged to seize this amazing opportunity to work alongside Vertigo Films, Haifaa Al-Mansour, and the AlUla Film team to produce a short film set in the deserts of AlUla.

Each submission will be carefully evaluated by a panel of esteemed experts in the field. The committee comprises representatives from Vertigo Films, AlUla Film, the talented director Haifaa Al-Mansour, and actress and filmmaker Katie Holmes. The submissions will be assessed based on their authenticity, creativity, thematic depth, and potential to resonate with global audiences.

Three exceptional filmmakers will be selected as the winners of the competition. They will receive a production grant of $20,000 USD, three months of personalized mentorship, additional funding for post-production, and hands-on support throughout the filmmaking process.

As part of their prize, the winners will be taken on a  journey to London, where they will explore the international film market and engage with key industry players in sales, distribution, and visual effects. Additionally, they will receive support in submitting their films to local and international film festivals.

Haifaa Al-Mansour, shared her excitement about working with AlUla Creates to cultivate the next generation of filmmakers in Saudi Arabia. She recalled her own journey as a female filmmaker in a landscape where such roles were not common and expressed her pride in being part of a program that fosters and nurtures emerging female talent in Saudi Arabia.

Al Ula, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Concert of Renaud Capucon, 4-5 JAN 2019. Photo © Ammar Abd Rabbo

This collaboration between AlUla Film, Vertigo Films, and Haifaa Al-Mansour plays a pivotal role in the development of AlUla as a sought-after destination for film production, aligning with the Royal Commission’s comprehensive strategy to diversify the economy. By elevating AlUla to a world-class tourism and cultural destination, the initiative contributes to enhancing the region’s environment and raising its standards to a level of global excellence.

As the world eagerly awaits the creative narratives from Saudi Arabia, AlUla Film’s “AlUla Creates” competition promises to be a transformative journey for the winners and an inspiring celebration of female empowerment in the film industry.


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