Saudi Arabia’s film industry ready to boom, but won’t lack drama 


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Samuel Wendel

Senior Market Research Analyst, Al-Monitor


June 5, 2023

Bottom Line:

This could be a breakout year for Saudi Arabia’s fledgling film industry. From a splashy Cannes performance to the May 26 global premiere of action thriller “Kandahar” — the first big budget Hollywood movie shot entirely in the kingdom —Riyadh’s ambitions to make Saudi Arabia a film and TV production powerhouse are increasingly coming into focus in 2023. Amid larger efforts to amass soft power by elbowing into the global entertainment industry (see: LIV Golf), Saudi Arabia and its immense financial firepower are poised to play a disruptive role in film and TV production. Within the region, the UAE has a head start, including a “Tom Cruise climbing the Burj Khalifa” moment. Saudi Arabia’s film industry is playing catch up, with high ambitions.  

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