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The Red Sea International Film Festival has officially announced the launch of the Film Association.
The Red Sea International Film Festival has officially announced the launch of the Film Association.

The Red Sea International Film Festival has officially announced the launch of the Film Association.

in Jeddah.

The Film Association has embarked on a journey, in line with the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to establish professional associations, to support and nurture the film and visual arts industry. His Highness Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud is leading this initiative, which was officially announced at the press conference held at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2023 venue in Jeddah.

On November 30 to December 9, 2023, there was a gathering at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Jeddah where various filmmakers and journalists attended. During this time, the artist, director, and writer Baraa Alam had discussions with members of the Film Association regarding their goals and involvement in the industry.

During the discussion, Hanaa Al Omair, a member of the Film Association’s board and a director and writer, expressed the crucial role of professional associations in the development of the film industry. This is accomplished by advocating for legislation and rights that are essential for the growth and progress of individuals in the industry. As such, it is vital to establish unions or associations that prioritize the rights of workers in this field. Al Omair noted that the association’s name is inspired by the concept of other professional associations within the Ministry of Culture, signifying the necessity for a Film Association to correspond with the existence of a Film Authority. Another board member, Abdulmohsen Al Nimr, emphasized the importance of these unions in safeguarding the rights of artists and providing support for their training and well-being during times of need.

Mishal Al Mutairi, the president of the Film Association and an artist and producer, stated that the association’s main objective is to achieve its goals through its members. The association was initiated by the Ministry of Culture and carefully selected members who played a pivotal role in its founding. The next step involved enrolling members and creators to voice their opinions. The Minister of Culture is highly interested in hearing about any challenges faced by the industry, as they represent the voice of the sector. Al Mutairi also discussed key strategies, such as influencing policies to support the growth of the film industry, representing the sector, and raising awareness among relevant organizations to actively listen to the workers. This includes overcoming obstacles and organizing visits to prominent global unions to learn about the best practices and applications in the industry. Additionally, there is a focus on the legal aspect, with efforts to increase legal awareness within the sector in order to have a clear image and a strong voice.

Tawfiq Al Zaidi, a writer and director who is also a founding member of the association, emphasized his focus on “talent.” He emphasized the importance of having a representative organization that provides significant support to talented individuals. The association’s main goal is to connect creators with talent in order to create a sustainable project, as the industry relies on both money and talent.

Alaa Faden, a co-founder and the CEO of Telfaz 11, recognizes the significance of streamlining the industry for creators by ensuring fair contracts and rights. He stresses the importance of forming an association that adheres to international standards and advocates for the rights of workers, in order to bridge the gap between the local industry and global unions.

Abdulaziz Al Muzaini, a member of the board and one of the original partners of Myrkott and Sirb production, holds the belief that the local industry is still lacking certain essential elements. As a result, one of the primary responsibilities of the association is to create laws and regulations that safeguard all parties and platforms, particularly since the local market is still in its early stages.

The conversation ended with a focus on the significance of prioritizing legal rights and standardized contracts as the initial measures for the Film Association. This encompasses all aspects of the dramatic work in the film and television industry, as highlighted by Hanaa Al Omair, a member of the board. Mishal Al Mutairi, the president of the Film Association, concluded the discussion by stating:

“We lay the foundation and take the first step, now it’s your turn.”