Saudi Arabian region NEOM, has announced the formal operational opening of NEOM Media Village and Bajdah Desert Studios.
Together the facilities comprise the country’s largest sound stages and film production support facilities.
NEOM also formally announced its 40%+ cash rebate production incentive scheme for feature films, TV (drama, reality, documentaries) and commercials.
“Clearly production incentives play a vital role in terms of attracting productions but are best leveraged when the entire package is in place: infrastructure, on-the-ground international production expertise, crew depth and ease of doing business,” commented Wayne Borg, Managing Director for Media Industries, Entertainment and Culture at NEOM. “NEOM is now in the position to offer this competitive package.”
The first three sound stages across the two locations are already operational. A further seven, including a high-tech volumetric production stage, are set to open by Q1 2023.
“This is an important milestone in realising our aim of becoming the epicenter of the regional media industry,” added Borg. “Our team, facilities and diverse filming locations mean we can provide a seamless, world-class production experience and use our capacity and capabilities to become the focal point of collaboration among talent, creators and key contributors within the global media industry.”
NEOM Media Village currently has one 2,400-square-meter sound stage, complete with back-of-house facilities comprising of make-up rooms, green rooms and production offices, with three further stages under construction. At Bajdah Desert Studios, there are two 3,000-square-meter sound stages, with a further four scheduled to come online by the end of 2022.
The production facilities will also offer a total of 350 dedicated accommodation units for cast and crew, “supported by a great offering of lifestyle facilities.”
The interim facilities already have a number of productions underway including fantasy-adventure ‘Rise of The Witches,’ the region’s biggest TV show to date, and ‘Million Dollar Island,’ a new reality TV survival show that wrapped filming this July. In addition, NEOM’s first local serial drama is scheduled to begin production this month.
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