Netflix and SPT to Launch a Development Program for Young Filmmakers

Netflix has announced that they have partnered with Studio Production Training to launch a development program for young filmmakers.

Netflix and SPT (Studio Production Training), Saudi-based production training studio, have teamed up to launch “Below The Line KSA”, a development program that will help train and upskill 15 young talents in Saudi through on set training and workshops focused on art department and production roles.

The “Below The Line KSA” program is the first of its kind in the Kingdom. Through this program, SPT and Netflix are working to help establish a solid infrastructure of below-the-line talent in Saudi by providing promising candidates access to vocational and practical training, inspired by global best practices. The rigorous training program will enable up-and-coming filmmakers in Saudi to break into the industry by providing them with the right skills and opportunities to build a career in film and television and generate a qualified network of talent for the local film industry.

The program is being rolled out in two phases, with the first one kicking off in November with a 10-day workshop focused on introducing art department roles including production design, art direction, and set building. The second phase will run in January with another 10-day workshop focused on production roles for aspiring line producers, production managers, and assistant directors. 

Each of the candidates will also have the opportunity to join a Netflix production, serving as an Assistant Director, Line Producer, Production Manager / Assistant, Art Director, or Prop Master.

I’ve been at the forefront of our industry’s birth and shepherding talent to compete with the caliber of work being done globally. As a producer myself, one area that I know must grow is our pool of below-the-line talent. I feel this is a vital group of professionals that’s essential for our shared success and is underserved in development at the moment. That’s where the idea for SPT was born. A solution that benefits our entire industry, not just the company offering the training or the production that is training its own crew. We want to create a film industry that works for Saudi, and not just emulates other countries. This is about creating a unified expectation of excellence to produce some of the finest film and television talent in the world.

Hajar Alnaim, Co-Founder and CEO of SPT

SPT has been developing this strategy for several years, consulting with experts in education and production, and leveraging their own experience to shape a program that builds a unified Saudi film industry, where set to set, production to production, crews have the necessary technical skills to build quality content with broad appeal. Similarly, Netflix has been working with industry partners to build the talent pipeline in the region as it works with more Arab storytellers to tell stories that can be loved globally.

The burgeoning entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia presents a multitude of opportunities for young talent, and partnerships like the one with SPT to help incubate this untapped potential. There is an incredible caliber of talent and stories that make up the larger creative community in the region, and we’re honing in on them to help showcase the breadth & depth of Arab creativity. Together with our creative partners, we want to do more to educate and empower those in the industry, and those hoping to break through. We’re excited by the many opportunities that lie ahead for us to help strengthen the quality of Arab storytelling.

Deana Nassar, Creative Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, Netflix’s Grow

Netflix is working with its production partners in Saudi Arabia, who will nominate people from their teams to participate in the program. The candidates can be Saudi nationals or residents.

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