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Film AlUla is Partnering with the Creative Media Skills Institute

Film AlUla is Partnering with the Creative Media Skills Institute

To train a new generation of film, award-winning film industry experts will be on their way to the beautiful AlUla in February to welcome the filmmaking ‘boot camp’.


For all the Saudi Nationals who are interested in joining the filmmaking industry, ATTENTION! Opening in February, the filmmaking ‘boot camp’ will be in training to strengthen the local workforce and build on the successful filming of the Hollywood feature film ‘Kandahar’ in AlUla. 

Film AlUla, the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency, is partnering with the UK’s industry-led Creative Media Skills Institute to host a 10-day hands-on boot camp led by award-winning film professionals who will head to AlUla in north-west Saudi Arabia to pass on their invaluable knowledge and expertise to a new generation of local filmmakers. Film AlUla’s first phase of studio development is underway to meet the demands of local and international Film & TV production.

The boot camp is set to start on February 26th and will be ongoing for 10 years. It will be merging classroom study and hands-on, pragmatic workshops from within the scenic AlUla. The training program has been created and designed to prepare 25 Saudi local trainees from the land of AlUla to follow careers in Production, Assistant Directing, and the Art, Locations, Costume, Make-up, and Hair departments. The boot camp is also connected to a series of different initiatives that are all supported by Film AlUla in order to guarantee a workforce and attract inward investors. 

Film AlUla is Partnering with the Creative Media Skills Institute

The award-winning trainees

The trainers that will be proposing their skills are the CEO of the Creative Media Skills Institute, Ailie Smith, who is known for her work on some of the incredible UK movies including Harry Potter, Prince of Persia, Troy, Cold Mountain, and Mad Max. 

BAFTA-winning film producer, Ian Smith was awarded the Order of the British Empire by the Queen in the 2008 New Year’s Honors List

Terry Bamber is an assistant director who has laid his work on 101 and 102 Dalmatian films with the legendary Micky Moore and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. 

Last but not least, David Anderson. The director not only directed films including Car Keys and The Temp but has also participated in outreach initiatives that offer free filmmaking instruction to young people from underprivileged backgrounds. 

Aspiring talents of Saudi are handed the opportunity to develop their new and updated skills and build a career in the film industry by professionals from the Creative Media Skills Institute which is based in the heart of the world-famous Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom. 

This Institute has been the training space for thousands of crew members who have now been part of big international films and productions made in the UK including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Spectre, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, Game of Thrones, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Jurassic World 2, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Marco Polo, Outlander, Jason Bourne, Pan, Wonder Woman, Ready Player One, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy and more.

The natural beauty of AlUla has been welcoming international production since 2020 with local, regional, and international Film and TV productions. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh and starring Gerard Butler, ‘Kandahar’’s cast and crew had positive shooting experiences in both AlUla and Jeddah.

Film AlUla is now developing a state-of-the-art studio complex that encompasses nearly 330,000 square feet. The first phase of the complex which is scheduled to be finalized this year will include two world-class soundstages, production support buildings, workshops, a pyro/SFX building, a catering facility, and an admin building plus a 6,500 sq m backlot and a sound recording studio. The complex will also be near 12 square kilometers of dedicated outdoor shooting locations that showcase the ancient heritage of AlUla.

Film AlUla is Partnering with the Creative Media Skills InstituteIt will ensure that this country is ready and in a position to capitalize upon the global film and television industry, a further boost to the offering of healthy financial incentives, the pool of young and exciting talent both in front of and behind the camera, and a diverse range of locations The ‘Film Residence’ which is designated for film professionals and designed for film operations with 300 high-quality, fully-furnished accommodation units, film-friendly office space for short and long-term stays, and recreational areas is now open and fully functional.

Charlene Jones, Executive Director at Film AlUla, said: “Saudi Arabia’s film industry is beginning to flourish, and developing local film professionals is crucial to the success of building film production in AlUla. The country is home to a large pool of creative and technical talent, so we are making every effort to nurture, harness, and encourage local emerging talent. We are thrilled to partner with Creative MediaSkills Institute and welcome their team of highly experienced screen industry professionals to share their expertise with a new generation of a young film crew to help them break into the industry and ensure they are set-ready as we prepare to welcome more Film and TV production to the region.”

The CEO of Creative Media Skills Institute, Ailie Smith, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Film AlUla team on this exciting project. The skilled crew provides the infrastructure from which industry can grow, and CMS has for years provided top-level training led by some of the most experienced and generous crew members we have in the U.K. We are excited to bring this wealth of knowledge to AlUla and to contribute to skills development in the region.”

For more information on Film AlUla, make sure to check out their website


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