Vox Cinemas, the largest exhibitor across the Middle East, has used the Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia to underline a major push into Arabic features, unveiling its debut slate of local original movies.
The lineup includes titles from new and established filmmakers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Lebanon and is part of Vox’s previously announced pledge to produce 25 Arabic films over five years.
Among the features are HWJN, the adaptation of a best-selling Saudi fantasy romance novel and latest collaboration from Vox, Image Nation Abu Dhabi and MBC Studios, the three having signed a deal back in 2019. The three entities have also joined forces on King of the Ring, a Saudi remake of the South Korean comedy-drama hit The Foul King, which will be screening during the Red Sea International Film Festival.
Meanwhile, Voy! Voy! Voy! marks the directorial debut of Egyptian commercials director Omar Hilal. It comes from Mohamed Hefzy’s regional production powerhouse Film Clinic, alongside Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
“It is an exciting time for Arabic film, which has been gaining plaudits and audiences in the region and beyond, and tends to outperform foreign films. Distinctly local productions, particularly in a nascent market like Saudi Arabia, offer an untapped and real opportunity,” said Ignace Lahoud, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment & Cinemas, which owns Vox. “As the leading cinema company in the region, we are committed to growing a sustainable film industry and believe that establishing a dynamic content ecosystem is integral to achieving this goal.”