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Saudi Arabia Seeks Support of Bollywood to Establish Arab’s Biggest Film Industry

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Why is Saudi Arabia keen to collaborate with the Indian film industry and Bollywood? The Indian film industry which includes Bollywood is the world’s biggest film industry. In terms of production, Indian film industry produces almost 2000 films every year. According to various estimates, Indian theatres sell an estimated 3.6 billion tickets per year across the globe, compared to Hollywood’s 2.6 billion.  

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Saudi Arabia’s culture authorities announced a variety of measures to boost the development of local talent and attract leading film industries like Bollywood and Hollywood to emerge as a premium shooting destination with the aim to develop its film industry.

India, which is the world’s biggest film industry, is on the radar of the Saudi Film Council (SFC), for collaboration. During their maiden appearance in Cannes, SFC announced a 35% cash rebate on film shootings in Saudi Arabia and 50% rebate on hiring local crew members.

The SFC is now attempting to develop the Arab world’s largest film industry by the year 2030. “The purpose is not to copy Hollywood or Bollywood but to establish a robust film industry with the help of local talent,” according to an SFC source.

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Saudi Arabia, which only has two cinemas in Riyadh, is working towards establishing up to 600 screens in the Kingdom by 2022. As per reports, these screens will be managed by Vox Cinemas, which has about 250 screens in the neighbouring UAE. People of Saudi Arabia travel to UAE to watch films and very soon they will be able to watch movies of their choice in Saudi itself,” added the source.

Saudi Film Council’s main strategy is to collaborate with institutes of repute and develop the local film industry. SFC has already tied up with institutes of the University of Southern California and the French film school La Femis. According to sources and report from ET, SFC is exploring partnering with at least one film institute in India.

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