Saudi Arabia’s Film AlUla, the entity looking to attract international productions to a sprawling area of desert and giant boulders that boasts an ancient city, is forging fashion world ties.
The film commission for the swathe of northwest Saudi Arabia roughly the size of Belgium that also comprises a lush oasis and vast sandstone canyons, is launching an initiative called AlUla Creates involving use of an eco-friendly studio and the possibility of tapping into development funds for projects by female directors at the intersection of film and fashion.
AlUla Creates has partnered with the British Fashion Council and with Saudi actress Mia Al Zahrani (“The Perfect Candidate”); British filmmaker and creative director Alec Maxwell – founder of digital platform Kloss Films whose clients include Bulgari, Stella McCartney, and Carolina Herrera –; and fashion models Helena Christensen and Eva Herzigova as “ambassadors” to promote the platform, according to a statement.
“Alula Creates provides a platform to support female founders in fashion and film, to share creative processes and access platforms to build international audiences that promote cultural exchanges through a female gaze,” said British Fashion Council CEO Caroline Rush in the statement.
Commented Film AlUla executive director Charlene Deleon-Jones: “More than 70% of the population in Saudi Arabia is under 30 with the fastest growing cinema audience in the world. There is a buzz about the screen sector in homes, schools, and boardrooms. Spending time in the beautiful landscape of AlUla, the streets of Jeddah, or homes in Riyadh it is impossible not to take note of the fashion, art, warmth, vibrancy and intellect of this generation. AlUla Creates is part of this picture, providing opportunities for creative development and collaborations across sectors and borders.”
Hollywood productions shot in AlUla include upcoming Gerard Butler action-thriller “Kandahar,” directed by Ric Roman Waugh.