Saudi Arabia’s Neom and leading local production company Telfaz11 have announced a partnership that will see up to nine TV and film productions filming at the media hub over the next three years.
Two feature films and one series are currently in development under the new arrangement.
Telfaz11’s comedy drama Sattar, set in the world of freestyle wrestling, became the highest-grossing Saudi film of all time following its release in December 2022. The company struck an eight-picture deal with Netflix in 2020.
Telfaz11 also plans to establish a physical presence at Neom by opening offices this year at the media hub, complementing its existing offices in Riyadh and Dubai.
Neom, a $500bn megacity being built in northwest Saudi Arabia, is working to establish itself as production destination and industry hub for the Middle East and North Africa region with a 40%+ production cash rebate incentive.
Neom has provided the backdrop for 30 productions in the last 18 months, including Rupert Wyatt’s Desert Warrior, starring Anthony Mackie and Ben Kingsley; Dunki directed by Rajkumar Hirani and starring Shahrukh Khan; local Saudi feature Within Sand directed by Moe Alatawi; the first regional reality TV show Million Dollar Island; and Rise Of The Witches, the region’s biggest-ever budget TV show. MBC’s Exceptional, a 200-episode-per-year TV drama series, is set to begin shooting in July.
Wayne Borg, managing director of media industries, entertainment, and culture at Neom, said: “Our mission is to create a new world-class media hub at Neom, one that supports the region’s industry to compete and succeed globally. This partnership with Telfaz11 along with our evolving infrastructure and crew depth, industry-learning programmes, and a highly competitive incentive program shows that we are well on our path to achieving our goals.”
Alaa Fadel, CEO and cofounder of Telfaz11 added: “We could not be more honored to be at Neom’s centre of next-generation media ecosystem.” Telfaz11 is always at the forefront of innovation. From launching the first Netflix in the region, to leveraging its powerful social media presence, Telfaz11 has been on the cutting edge. This new partnership with Neom marks yet another milestone for that effort.”