Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a new investment fund that will focus on improving the quality of films while strengthening production values, distribution, and filmmaking.

The Big Time investment fund will also feature the kingdom’s Ministry of Culture as a co-sponsor, along with contributions from various companies specialised in the field of filmmaking and production, a press release said, without disclosing the value of the fund.

Turki Al Al-Sheikh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the GEA, made the announcement about the establishment of the fund during a visit to Egypt, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The fund will also feature the involvement of notable artists from the Arab world.

Al-Sheikh said the initial phase of the fund will be dedicated to investments in significant Saudi, Gulf, and Arab films, highlighting its commitment to nurturing and promoting regional achievements.

Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has been actively pushing the country’s film industry into the spotlight with the announcement of high-profile partnerships and funds to attract key international players.

At the 2023 Cannes Film Festival in May, Saudi Arabia’s Cultural Development Fund announced two separate grants that would collectively spend $180 million in developing the local film industry, while also fostering an environment that appeals to cash-rich Hollywood production houses.

Last year, the Saudi Film Commission launched Daw, an initiative aimed at supporting local filmmakers and creating quality local productions. Daw also offers financial grants for Saudi-based production companies looking to produce short films or feature films in the kingdom. 

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)