NEOM Production Hub to host Saudi director Abdulaziz Alshlahei's new film Hobal

Hobal will be Alshlahei’s third feature

By Gabriella Geisinger 18 Jul 2023

NEOM Production Hub to host Saudi director Abdulaziz Alshlahei's new film Hobal
Abdulaziz Alshlahei

Saudi Director Abdulaziz Alshlahei is set to begin shooting his upcoming feature film Hobal in NEOM, the sprawling production hub in Saudi Arabia’s northwestern corner, this September.

The film follows a Saudi family is following strict instructions from their grandfather to remain confined in the desert during the early 1990s, when a series of events shakes the family’s foundation and finds them in a struggle between life and death.

Hobal stars Jordanian actor Mohammed Altoyan and Saudi’s Mishal Almutairi, along with an all-Saudi cast.

Filming will begin at NEOM’s Bajdah Studios, and in the desert and mountain landscapes along Saudi’s Red Sea coast in Tabuk.

NEOM boasts world-class sound stages, a generous 40% plus rebate and local talent and crews. The locally-financed film will benefit from production support provided by NEOM, who are assisting with crew, location scouting, logistics and on-the-ground production expertise.

His previous work, the Saudi period drama The Tambour of Retribution, received critical acclaim and secured two awards at the Cairo Film Festival and was released on Netflix and was selected as the Saudi Arabian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards in 2022.

The film’s scriptwriter, Mufarrej Al-Majfel, was one of the winners of the Saudi Film Commission’s Daw Film Competition, launched by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture in 2019 to support Saudi film production and nurture the next generation of filmmakers by providing sustainable funding for Saudi content.

Alshlahei said in a statement: "Since 2018, we have been thinking about unique locations to shoot our film. We decided on NEOM, and specifically Bajdah, where the captivating landscapes will be an influential and integral part of the narrative. Our director of photography will use anamorphic lenses to do justice to this extraordinary and majestic destination and set a beautiful atmosphere for the film. I’m excited about shooting and would like to take this opportunity to thank the NEOM Media Industries team for welcoming us and supporting the film."

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