As Saudi Arabia diversifies from an oil-based economy, the kingdom is pinning a significant portion of its hopes of becoming a major media industry hub on NEOM, a futuristic megacity in-the-making. It is where the $100 million seventh century actioner “Desert Warrior,” featuring an all-star international cast led by “Captain America” star Anthony Mackie, is currently shooting.
The utopian postmodern desert city being built to be powered solely by renewable energy and envisioned to be a linear city connected by a high-speed train, with no cars, no roads, no pollution and also to be the new frontier in terms of digital lifestyle, will have “a semi-autonomous jurisdiction in the kingdom,” says Borg, in an effort to make it more attractive not just to film and TV shoots but also to media and entertainment companies looking for a regional base.
Cameras are planned to start rolling in NEOM Jan. 16, 2022 on Saudi independent feature film “Within Sand,” based on a folk legend about the bond between a bedouin traveler and a lone wolf. Pic, to be directed by first-timer Moe Alatawi, will realistically depict bedouins in the 1920’s somewhat similarly to Jordanian director Naji Abu Nowar’s standout drama “Theeb,” said Faisal Baltyuor who is producing with Reem Alatawi, after receiving development support from the Red Sea Festival’s Red Lodge program.
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