Saudi Arabian production company Holam is getting ready to enter production for a found footage style horror film. The film will be about about a group of filmmakers who go missing while making a documentary about djinn spirits. The film named Hajes and directed by Saudi filmmaker Zyad Al Zahrany, whose credits include the short films Fire In and Quick Profit.
Al Zahrany has himself written the screenplay and will cast young Saudis who have earned recognition on popular Saudi YouTube channels. The popularity of the first Saudi horror short film Ghabash (Twilight) released on YouTube in 2016, showed how successful locally produced films in the genre could be.
Hajes is produced by Saudi-born American producer Todd Albert Nims who founded Holam along with Saudi producer Omar Zahrani in 2014. Holam's recent credits include Joud and Born A King, first international co-production to be shot in Saudi Arabia, while Zahrani began his career at the MBC Group.
Nims is at Cannes promoting the film at the Saudi Arabia pavilion. The two-story pavilion, located in the festival’s International Village, has been one of the most active international pavilions at the festival since its opening last Friday. With 46 delegates attending and promoting film locations and productions in Saudi Arabia, filmmakers, producers, and other industry reps from across the world have interacted and explored partnerships with homegrown Saudi talent.