Saudi Arabia strengthens cultural ties with Indian film industry

Akshay Kumar meets His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, Saudi Arabia.Photo: Edelman PR

A delegation led by His Highness Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Culture, engaged in meetings and discussions with leading film personalities and production house representatives in India on April 3.

Abdullah Al-Qahtani, CEO of the Film Commission, also embarked with him on a visit to India to showcase Saudi Arabia’s booming film industry and explore collaborations with the Indian film fraternity. Over the three-day visit, they were joined by executives from NEOM, Film AIUla, Red Sea International Film Festival and MBC Group.

The visit saw the delegation meet with leading Hindi actors, including Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan,  Shah Rukh Khan and Saif Ali Khan, as well as prominent film production houses. The insightful conversations centered round Saudi Arabia’s holistic film proposition and synergistic opportunities for Indian filmmakers.

Among the aspects discussed were the breadth of filming locations in the Arab kingdom and the Red Sea, the emerging industry talent in Saudi Arabia and the wider region, as well as the burgeoning film ecosystem to support the kingdom’s ambition for the sector. Saudi Arabia proactively facilitates regulation to support Indian filmmakers by offering competitive incentives and promotion programs.

The Red Sea International Film Festival, quickly establishing itself on the regional and global stage, was also highlighted as an opportunity for the Indian film industry to showcase its creative output and engage with audiences in Saudi Arabia. The festival’s success also stands as a testament to the ongoing evolution of the kingdom’s film industry, as it sets its sights on becoming the Middle-East’s new film industry powerhouse.

His Highness stated: “In an increasingly interconnected world, it is now more vital than ever to facilitate meaningful cultural exchange. Films remain a powerful tool to open hearts and minds, while the culture sector holds immense potential as an economic contributor. Our visit to India has enabled us to strengthen our relationship with this nation’s thriving film industry. We look forward to exploring partnership and knowledge-sharing opportunities as we continue to work towards realizing Vision 2030.”

Abdullah Al-Qahtani added, “With fast-developing infrastructure, promising talent and picturesque locations waiting to be discovered, Saudi Arabia is ready to be an exciting, unique setting for filmmakers. We are pleased to have been able to interact with leading members of the Indian film industry on this visit and are excited about working together to take the kingdom’s film sector to greater heights.”

As part of its Vision 2030 national transformation plan, Saudi Arabia aims to leverage bilateral relations to make culture a way of Saudi life and a powerful economic contributor. ]

The Ministry of Culture is leading a cultural transformation to develop a rich ecosystem that nurtures creativity, unlocks the economic potential of the sector and unleashes new and inspiring forms of expression. As part of these efforts, the ministry is seeking to bolster the presence of Saudi heritage and culture at events across the kingdom and abroad, enabling participants to engage with the kingdom’s rich and diverse history and preserve Saudi heritage for generations to come.






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