First-of-its-kind partnership with Stampede Ventures to bring 10 productions over three years to AlUla
AlUla, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Film AlUla, the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency, and global media company Stampede Ventures, under the leadership of founder and CEO Greg Silverman, signed a three-year deal with a projected spend of USD350 million in AlUla. The groundbreaking partnership, finalised at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia today, involves Film AlUla providing rebates and incentives. The deal will see Stampede Ventures bringing ten productions to AlUla over three years and advancing AlUla’s ambitions to hub a world-class film and creative industry.
Silverman, the founder and CEO of Stampede Ventures, is an entertainment industry veteran known for his track record at Warner Brothers where he shepherded over 125 films to more than $38 Billion in worldwide box office, most notably Harry Potter, Chris Nolan’s Batman series, Zack Snyder’s 300 and Todd Phillips’ iconic Hangover trilogy, and Joker. He also brought American Sniper, Gravity, The Lego Franchise, The Great Gatsby, Argo, and Mad Max: Fury Road to audiences and countless others over his epic 20 year run at Warner Brothers. His work has resonated around the world but has also promoted the growth of national film industries such as the UK and Australia. His creative and commercial instincts as well as his world-wide network and world-class experience were instrumental to his success at Warner Bros as the President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production. He founded his company Stampede Ventures to create and own IP across film, television and digital and bring a new generation of blockbusters to the screen.
The Film AlUla-Stampede partnership is closely aligned to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals to diversify the economy and foster cultural development. With a three-year pipeline of productions, the partnership will play a significant role in growing AlUla from a regional creative hub to a platform for global filmmaking talent.
Film AlUla’s use of rebates and incentives will provide opportunities for a new generation of story tellers and filmmakers, creating bridges that enable shared stories and learnings. Film AlUla is known for its inclusive approach to developing the local industry and this partnership will play a role in furthering a vibrant film industry in the region.
Amr AlMadani, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Commission for AlUla, said: “Our partnership with Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures is a first-of-its-kind in the region and underscores Saudi Arabia’s investment potential as a film and creative hub. Over the past three years, Film AlUla has steadily and sustainably built a film economy that is capable of hosting productions from around the world. We are nearing completion of a 30,000 sq. m studio complex and are upskilling Saudis to assume leading roles in front of and behind the camera. A partnership of this scale will accelerate our growth and increase our global visibility.”
Greg Silverman, Chief Executive Officer, Stampede Studios said: “We are thrilled to have this ground-breaking partnership with Film AlUla which will further develop their infrastructure for international productions, creating opportunities for the local economy and people, and add scope and nuance to our slate. Perhaps more importantly, the cultural exchange between U.S. and Saudi filmmakers will make for better films and better understanding, the kind of connection that can only come through extended collaboration in the creation of art.”
As the Royal Commission for AlUla’s film division, Film AlUla has been a key player in the development of the film industry in Saudi Arabia. Since 2020, the entity has hosted over 700 days of filming including the action movie Kandahar starring Gerard Butler, the Russo brothers’ drama Cherry starring Tom Holland, and Saudi filmmaker Tawfik Alzaidi’s debut feature Norah, the first Saudi feature film to be shot at AlUla and featuring an all-Saudi cast and over 40% Saudi crew. TV productions filmed in AlUla include the British series Expedition with Steve Backshall and Nat Geo documentaries, along with commercials, promos, photo shoots and short films.
In addition to hosting productions, Film AlUla is currently bolstering its on-ground infrastructure, with phase one of a full-service world-class production facility nearing completion. The facility includes a 30,000 square foot soundstage, backlot, production support buildings, workshops, warehouses, recording studio, training and rehearsal space, cafeteria, event space and an iconic administration building. The soundstage will be 14 minutes from the Film AlUla Residence, the purpose-built crew quarters with 300 high-quality, fully furnished accommodation units, film-friendly office space for short and long-term stays and a range of high-end and mid-range accommodation options.
Film AlUla is also focusing on talent to accelerate industry growth. This includes the provision of funds for fledgling Saudi and regional filmmakers, skills training hosted by international experts from Creative Media Skills from London’s Pinewood Studios as well as comprehensive mentoring programmes like AlUla Creates, which is designed to nurture creativity and empower future generations in film, the arts and fashion. AlUla Creates is supported by an esteemed group of talent including fashion icons Eva Herzigova and Helena Christensen, Saudi trailblazers Haifaa Al Mansour and Mila Al Zahrani as well as award-winning outfit Vertigo Films.
To learn more about Film AlUla, please visit: https://filming.experiencealula.com/
NOTES TO EDITORS
ABOUT FILM ALULA:
Film AlUla is The Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency, established to promote and support international film and TV production in the AlUla county, located in north-west Saudi Arabia. Its aim is to position AlUla as an international filming destination and develop the services, facilities, and infrastructure in the region to create a film-friendly ecosystem.
STAMPEDE VENTURES is a global media company that creates and owns IP across film, television and digital with an eye toward launching new franchises.