Saudi Arabian region Neom has formally unveiled its 40%+ cash rebate production incentive scheme for feature films, TV dramas, reality series and docs, and opened the doors to Neom Media Village and Bajdah Desert Studios.
In relation to the rebate, producers will be able to secure a higher percentage based on their industry development contributions.
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“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.”
Meanwhile, the new Neom Media Village and studios space comprise Saudi Arabia’s largest sound stage and film production support facilities. Combined, they have supported 25 productions over the course of the last 18 months, with the first three sound stages across the two locations already operational. A further seven, including a high-tech volumetric production stage, are set to open by Q1 2023.
Neom says the studios’ launches are to service growing demand from regional and international producers for studio spaces with state-of-the-art facilities.
Productions underway at the interim families include MBC’s big-budget fantasy adventure series Rise of The Witches, while a version of Dutch reality series Million Dollar Island wrapped filming this July. In addition, Neom’s first local serial drama is scheduled to begin production this month.
“This is an important milestone in realizing our aim of becoming the epicenter of the regional media industry,” said 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 features one 2,400-sq meter sound stage, which features 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-sq-meter sound stages, with four more scheduled to be operational by the the end of 2022. A crew of international production staff have been assembled, too.
The production facilities will also offer 350 accommodation units for cast and crew and lifestyle facilities. Complementing the physical sound stages and production facilities, NEOM has assembled an experienced international production team that has a deep understanding of what producers and crew need, whether on stage or on location. This team supports incoming productions to provide a smooth and cost-efficient production experience.
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