Growing Saudi entertainment group Telfaz11 acquires independent Riyadh-based production company Last Scene Films in an agreement that is stepping up its transition to feature film production.
Founded by Alaa Yousef Fadan, Ali Al Kalthami and Ibrahim Al Khairallah, Riyadh-based Telfaz11 was at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s YouTube youth content revolution in the early 2010s. It is now a major player in explosion of content after the lifting of the 35-year ban on cinema in the country.
Last Scene Films, which specializes in the production of independent feature films, documentaries and short films, was founded in 2017 by Saudi cinema pioneer Mohamed Alhamoud. With him was Wael Abumansour, executive producer in 2020.
The first feature of the company Last visit by Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan premiered at the East of the West Competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2019 and won the Jury Prize at the Marrakesh International Film Festival the same year.
The company is developing the Hussam AlHulwah feature Four acts of disturbance, in the 1930s Saudi Arabia as it adapts to the arrival of American oil explorers.
Prior to the lifting of the cinema ban in Saudi Arabia in 2017, Alhamoud was a co-founding member of the Talashi Film Collective, which was dedicated to making short films and showing them at film festivals in neighboring areas a decade before cinemas opened in country.
As part of the Telfaz11 deal, Abumansour and Alhamoud will join the company and report to Fadan. They will continue to oversee the day-to-day development and production of Last Scene Films, as well as develop and direct the strategy of the Telfaz11 film festival.
“It has always been part of our mission to be the catalysts of local creative culture as we are at the forefront of producing new and fresh Saudi content with a huge local impact and relevance to local culture,” Fadan said.
“With our current strategy of expanding and focusing on our premium movie and content offerings, we believe that the Last Scene transaction will support us in accelerating our mission and creating long-term value for the company and its shareholders.”
The deal follows a busy 12-month period for Telfaz11. In late 2020, it signed an eight-image deal with Netflix, and earlier this year, local exhibition chain Muvi Cinemas took an unknown stake in the company as part of a collaborative strategy to boost local content creation.
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