VOX Cinemas, the cinema arm of Emirati holding company Majid Al Futtaim and the largest theatrical exhibitor in the Middle East, revealed Tuesday (December 7) that it will produce 25 Arabic movies over the next five years. The announcement was made at the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
According to a release, Majid Al Futtaim’s film production commitment aligns with the Saudi Arabia Film Commission’s recently launched strategy to develop the Saudi Arabia cinema sector. Under the initiative, VOX Cinemas will continue supporting the next generation of regional content developers and provide resources for emerging filmmakers. The company previously provided mentorship to the Saudi production company Myrkott, including for its animated feature Masameer: The Movie released last year.
“We are proud to continue doing our part to invest in the prosperous future of the Kingdom,” said Majid Al Futtaim CEO leisure, entertainment & cinemas CEO Ignace Lahoud in a statement. “Cinemas and content production offer tremendous potential for regional economic growth, particularly in Saudi Arabia’s up and coming film industry, which we believe with significantly contribute to Vision 2030. Majid Al Futtaim is aligned with Saudi Arabia Film Commission’s plans to develop a burgeoning cinema sector as attested by our expanding footprint and today’s commitment to produce a slate of 25 Arabic films in the next five years.”
Lahoud added, “The Middle East has a long history steeped in storytelling and a wealth of emerging talent that has been gaining international prominence in recent years. Given its theme of ‘Metamorphosis’, the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival is the ideal platform to announce our ambitious plan to illuminate the untold and compelling stories from our region on the big screen. As a long-standing supporter of the regional cinema sector, we will continue to champion emerging talent, amplify creative voices, and provide audiences with a window into the rich culture of the Arab world.”
In addition to exhibition, VOX Cinemas produces content and operates a regional film distribution division. Most recently, it distributed Al Kameen (The Ambush), one of the largest Arabic feature film productions ever in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which encompasses Saudia Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Al Kameen has since become the highest-grossing Arabic language movie to date in the UAE.