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Saudi Production Company Red Palm Pictures Launches on Eve of Red Sea Film Festival


The new banner — which will operate under the same umbrella as newly-launched distributor TwentyOne Entertainment — has a multi-picture deal with Saudi filmmaker Tawfik Alzaidi, whose debut feature ‘Norah’ premieres at the fest.

The fast-rising film industry of Saudi Arabia has a new production company.

Red Palm Pictures will be led by former Universal exec Paul Chesney and focus on developing and producing original film, TV and documentary content for theatrical and streaming releases in the Middle East and North Africa and around the world. The company will be based out of Riyadh and will operate alongside recently launched distribution company TwentyOne Entertainment, also overseen by Chesney. Both new entities will work together under one roof.

Unveiled just days before the opening of the third edition of Saudi’s Red Sea International Film Festival, Red Palm Pictures launches with a multi-picture deal with Saudi writer and Tawfik Alzaidi, who’s debut feature Norah has its world premiere at the festival and has been picked up by TwentyOne Entertainment. The first project from the deal is the action and adventure drama Thuraya, to be written and directed by Alzaidi.

“There is a new wave of filmmaking in Saudi Arabia right now and remarkable undiscovered talent, both behind and in front of the camera,” said Chesney, CEO of Red Palm Pictures. “Our goal is to be at the forefront of this growth and transformation and to nurture those filmmakers and give them local stories from within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as international co-productions. I am thrilled to be working with the visionary Tawfik Alzaidi and very excited to be helping him bring his incredible imagination and ideas to life.” 

Added Alzaidi: “I could not be more excited to enter this partnership with Paul Chesney and Red Palm Pictures who understand and value my dreams as a filmmaker in the new Saudi Arabia. My ambition is to make important and memorable stories with limitless imagination and to establish Saudi Arabia as a real creative force in the global film community.”

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