Saudi Arabia Unveils Major Incentives Package for Overseas Productions

Riyadh Skyline, Saudi Arabia - H 2018 - Getty
Credit: Getty

The announcement was made during the country's debut attendance at the Cannes Film Festival.

Saudi Arabia has used its first attendance at the Cannes film festival to unveil an incentives package aimed at attracting international productions to the country.

The incentive is for projects with a minimum of 35 percent of production spending in the country, with funding of 50 percent of all money spent on Saudi talent. That "probably makes us the most attractive incentives program in the world," said Ahmad bin Fahd Al-Mezyed, the CEO of the General Culture Authority.

The announcement came just six months after the kingdom lifted a 35-year ban on cinemas, and follows on from a flurry of activity in Saudi Arabia's practically non-existent film industry. Last month, AMC opened the country's first ever movie theater with a historic screening of Black Panther, with regional chain Vox following suit just weeks later with the opening of the first multiplex.

On Thursday in Cannes, it was announced that Saudi Arabia's most prominent director Haifaa Al-Mansour would be the first to receive backing from the newly-formed Saudi Film Council for her upcoming project, The Perfect Candidate

A version of this story appears in The Hollywood Reporter's May 12 daily issue from the Cannes Film Festival.