The British Council commissioned Nordicity to undertake the first-ever in-depth research into Film Skills in Saudi Arabia, with the support provided by the Ministry of Culture, outlining the skills and capabilities needed to strengthen and grow the sector in the future.  

Key findings from the report include:

  • 35 per cent of those surveyed felt the cast and on-screen talent were the biggest advantages of the Saudi film sector
  • Nearly three quarters (72%) of those surveyed were young people under 30, out of these, a third (34%) were female.
  • Nearly half of those surveyed (43%) identified financing as the greatest barrier for the industry
  • 41 per cent of those surveyed cite skills shortages as the biggest issue in recruiting for the Saudi Film Industry
  • 28 per cent of respondents would prefer for the workforce to train in Saudi Arabia.
  • Online streaming (77%) is the most prominent form of Saudi film distribution. 
  • 93 per cent of all Saudi Film companies film locally, with over a third (39%) of the film sector residing in Riyadh.
  • 72 per cent of survey respondents were very interested in partnering with the UK

The report is also available in Arabic and can be downloaded here.  

About the Film Skills Research

Our film skills research took place between 2019-20 in Saudi Arabia and outlines what skills and capabilities are needed to strengthen and grow this sector in the future. It is intended to widen the understanding of professionals in the culture sector in Saudi Arabia and the UK about the possibilities for collaboration in the area of Films and to develop programmes and projects to support the sector.

It will increase understanding of current perceptions about employment opportunities in the film sector consulting both producers and consumers of film, as well as those aspiring to work in the sector. Recommendations from the research will enable audiences regionally and internationally to connect with people in the emerging Saudi film sector in meaningful ways that respond to the needs of local filmmakers. In particular, the research aims to share UK expertise in the creative industries with young people in the Arab world through capacity building programmes.

We’re interested in connecting with anyone who wants to build on this research or join the conversation. If you would like to be involved, please email:

Tune into the hashtags #SaudiFilmSkills #ConnectingCultures on the latest findings and happenings around Film Skills in Saudi Arabia. 

See also