Plans are afoot to create a series of Arabic films, VOX Cinemas, the movie arm of Majid Al Futtaim announced on Friday at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah. Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas CEO, Ignace Lahoud said the announcement reaffirmed the company’s commitment to the production of 25 Arabic films in five years.
In a line-up that features titles from new and established filmmakers in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Lebanon, VOX Cinemas is “reaffirming its commitment to become a major player in Arabic film production” Lahoud said.
“It is an exciting time for Arabic film, which has been gaining plaudits and audiences in the region and beyond, and tends to outperform foreign films,” he added.
“Distinctly local productions, particularly in a nascent market like Saudi Arabia, offer an untapped and real opportunity.”
Lahoud said VOX Cinemas would be working with a number of production companies In the ongoing push to growing a “sustainable film industry”.
“Storytelling is deeply rooted in Arabic culture,” he added, saying “VOX Cinemas is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of regional filmmakers and empowering them to use the language of film to tell their stories.”
The movies will be produced through collaborations with the likes of Image Nation Abu Dhabi and MBC Studios, as well as Film Clinic and Sirb Productions.
Currently under production are a number of titles including ‘HWJN (Hawjen)’, directed by Yasir Al Yasiri and due for release next year; other titles include “King of the Ring,” a Saudi remake of the South Korean comedy drama hit “The Foul King,” and “Voy! Voy! Voy!,” which is also slated for 2023.