×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Saudi Film Producer Hani Farsi Ventures Into TV Production With ‘Jet Set,’ ‘Churchill’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Farsi is in Cannes to celebrate Arab women filmmakers

London-based Saudi philanthropist and film producer Hani Farsi is venturing into TV production with two projects for high-end series, one on the advent of jet-set society and the other on Winston Churchill’s adventures as a young war reporter.

Through his Corniche Pictures, Farsi has optioned rights for the books “Swans —Legends of the Jet Society” by British journalist Nicholas Foulkes and to “Winston Churchill Reporting” by Simon Read. He intends to adapt both these properties into high-end series for which his company intends to fully finance development and a pilot episode. They are now in early development.

Rather than boarding projects initiated by others, as he’s done in the past, Farsi said he now “wanted to be able to own the IP and at the same time have more control over what we are doing.” “I’ve put myself in the position of being able to go [shop it around] with that universe more or less complete,” he noted. 

Farsi said he was drawn to “Jet Society” because “there is that side of it which I’ve seen, growing up in the Middle East with a lot of wealth” and because of the parallels with the present. “Back then it was paparazzi and galas; now it’s the internet and Instagram.” He described “Churchill” as being in the vein of Che Guevara’s “The Motorcycle Diaries.”

Farsi is also “days away” from announcing a name director on “Arctic 30” Corniche’s long-gestating environmental thriller about the activists on Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship who were thrown into a Russian jail, on which the company teamed up with prominent British producer David Puttman, known for “Midnight Express,” “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission.” Bafta-winner Guy Hibbert (“Eye in The Sky”) has written the “Arctic 30” screenplay. 

Meanwhile in Cannes he will hold an event on May 15 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his foundation and the graduate year of the 3 women who received the full four-year Arab women Filmmakers Scholarship at UCLA which he set up in 2015. The film school’s dean Teri Schwartz and the head of the British Film Institute, Amanda Nevill, will be attending.

“I want to raise awareness about it and see whether other organizations want to join,” he said. “I would love to be able to work on endowing a scholarship at UCLA and perhaps continue the endowment at other schools.”

Farsi is also in Cannes as co-owner of French distribution and sales company Le Pacte, which has four films in the official selection: Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” A.B. Shawky’s “Yomeddine,” Horkazu Kore-Eda’s “Shoplifters,” and David Robert Mitchell’s “Under The Silver Lake.” 

More Film

  • Chris Evans attends the "Lobby Hero"

    Chris Evans' Action Film 'The Red Sea Diving Resort' Bought by Netflix

    Netflix has bought global rights, excluding China, to Chris Evans’ action-thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” for release later this year. Haley Bennett, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michiel Huisman, Greg Kinnear, and Ben Kingsley also star. “The Red Sea Diving Resort” is directed by “Homeland” creator Gideon Raff from his own script. Raff had [...]

  • 'Star Wars Episode IX' Has Officially

    'Star Wars Episode IX' Has Officially Wrapped

    The end is nigh! Filming for “Star Wars Episode IX” has officially wrapped, bringing an end to a franchise that has spanned more than 40 years and eight films. Director J.J. Abrams confirmed the news Friday tweeting, “It feels impossible, but today wrapped photography on ‘Episode IX.’ There is no adequate way to thank this [...]

  • Ben Affleck Batman

    Ben Affleck Explains Why He's Done Playing Batman: 'I Couldn't Crack It'

    Ben Affleck is hanging up his cape and saying goodbye to Batman. In an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Thursday, the actor explained why he will not be returning as the Caped Crusader in the 2021 film “The Batman,” to be written and directed by Matt Reeves. Affleck is retiring from the role after playing [...]

  • 'Great Bear Rainforest' Review

    Film Review: 'Great Bear Rainforest'

    Imax documentaries take us into the wilderness in ways we could only ever dream of experiencing in person, inviting us to marvel at the majesty of mother nature. Director Ian McAllister’s “Great Bear Rainforest” journeys deep into a remote, relatively untouched landscape where crystal clear lakes mirror the mountains and misty, mossy cedar forests tower [...]

  • Seu Jorge, director Wagner Moura, Bella

    Makers of Berlin Competition Title 'Marighella' Worry About Distribution at Home

    Worried that growing political tension in Brazil may hamper the domestic release of “Marighella,” Wagner Moura’s directorial debut about a leftist revolutionary, the movie’s producers may seek to crowd-fund its distribution independently. “We are going to fight for it,” producer Andrea Barata Ribeiro said ahead of the film’s world premiere at the Berlinale on Friday. [...]

  • Isle of Dogs

    ‘Isle of Dogs’ Called for a Thousand Sophisticated Puppets

    Andy Gent says it was clear as soon as he read Wes Anderson’s script for “Isle of Dogs” that the project was very ambitious. It just took a while to understand exactly how ambitious. For example, it was originally estimated the animated movie would require between 300 and 400 puppets, the same number needed for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content