Productions houses are responsible for training the next generation of GCC filmmakers in order to develop their skills and enable them to compete in the global market, according to the CEO of Image Nation Abu Dhabi Michael Garin.
In an opinion piece looking at the year ahead, Garin said the scaling back of platforms such as Dubai International Film Festival makes it all the more important for productions houses to play a larger role in training local filmmakers and ultimately creating a sustainable sector.
“As with any profession, becoming a successful filmmaker is a journey of many years. With professional platforms like Dubai International Film Festival scaling back drastically, Image Nation and our peers have an even more critical role to play in preparing the next generation of local content creators.”
“We are charged with building a sustainable industry in this region and we must bring an international perspective to our own development processes to meet this need,” he said.
While the GCC is filled with young talent who are eager to develop their skills, it needs more support from industry leaders to build a robust infrastructure for further development.
“There is an incredibly bright future ahead for regional creativity. I see a growing pool of talented young professionals who are passionate about developing their skills and telling fascinating local stories to the world, and rapidly increasing demand and excitement in the market for GCC-led productions.
“In the coming years, the regional film and TV industry can be on a footing to compete in the global arena. But to make that happen, the sector’s leaders must work hard and collaborate to put in place the strong foundations and robust infrastructure necessary to build a sustainable and successful industry for the future,” he said.
Garin said Saudi Arabia’s lifting of the decades-old ban on cinemas last year means the sector has plenty of opportunity for growth, particularly in line with the kingdom’s plan to open around 350 cinemas by 2030.
But the CEO stressed that while the region wants to see ‘exceptional Saudi and Emirati pilots flying our planes, we wouldn’t place them there without the proper training and experience. The film and television industry is no different.’