Home Life Style Transforming the Film Landscape: The Impact of Saudi Producer Faisal Baltyuor

Transforming the Film Landscape: The Impact of Saudi Producer Faisal Baltyuor

The executive has played a pivotal role in numerous significant advancements since the reopening of cinemas in the Kingdom in 2018

by Akshay
Transforming the Film Landscape: The Impact of Saudi Producer Faisal Baltyuor

When you reflect on the pivotal moments in the development of the thriving Saudi film industry, one name that consistently emerges is Faisal Baltyuor. From the moment Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on movie theaters in 2018 and unveiled its first cinema in Ithra, Baltyuor has played an integral role in shaping the landscape. He not only managed this inaugural cinema but also assumed the position of the first CEO of the Saudi Film Council, now known as the Saudi Film Commission. In this role, he equipped a new generation of talent with the necessary tools to embark on their creative journeys.

However, two years into this endeavor, Baltyuor recognized a significant challenge: there were certain areas within the industry that remained underserved, areas beyond the reach of the public sector. Who would support emerging voices in realizing their visions? Where were the dedicated distributors committed to bringing Saudi films to theaters? And where could one find an arthouse cinema devoted to nurturing a niche project’s audience?

Motivated by this realization, Baltyuor embarked on a new path, driven by his childhood dream and a deep sense of purpose. “This is so important to me because I look back and I regret the absence of our stories on the big screen — all the creative voices we never heard from,” he reflects. “That’s why we are working three times as hard now. I know that we’re not going to bring back what was lost in those 40 years without cinemas, but we are writing the Saudi story now, so let’s write it in the best way possible. Let’s write the Saudi story for the world to hear it,” Baltyuor passionately states.

He believes that Saudi Arabia is a wellspring of creative talent, boasting a substantial population under the age of 30 and a richly diverse culture. Yet, for these voices to be heard, every facet of the industry must flourish, both locally and internationally. Baltyuor emphasizes that achieving a one-off Oscar win is insufficient. To ensure the longevity of this endeavor and to do justice to the Saudi project, they must build an industry as vibrant and multifaceted as Saudi Arabia itself.

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