Growing Saudi entertainment group Telfaz11 is joining forces with French production company Easy Riders Films to develop and produce a slate of four feature films with international scope from Saudi emerging talents.
The first film expected to go into production under the deal is Ali Kalthami’s Night Courier, which was presented at the Red Sea Souk project market of the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) in Saudi port town of Jeddah last December
The Riyadh-set dark comedy revolves around a young man tempted by a high-risk, criminal scheme in order to raise money to pay for medical treatment for his ailing father.
Telfaz11, which was at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s YouTube content revolution of the 2010s, has been pushing into the feature film space since 2020, following the lifting of its country’s cinema ban.
It is also one of the country’s fastest-growing content groups. It secured a multi-million-dollar funding line from a consortium of high-profile local financiers, led by burgeoning Saudi exhibition chain Muvi Cinemas, in late 2021. It also has an eight-picture deal with Netflix to develop and produce a slate of films for both Arab and global audiences.
Kalthami is one of the co-founders of the company alongside Ibrahim Al Khairallah and Alaa Fadan.
Paris-based Easy Riders is headed by Nadia Turincev and Omar El Kadi. It was present in Cannes this year as one of the producing partners on documentary Mariupol 2 which world premiered as a special screening in Official Selection.