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Program overview

This intensive program is designed for aspiring talented and creative Saudi screenwriters and filmmakers committed to creating engaging screenplays and pursuing real careers in film/television. The program will largely consist of actively workshopping the writers’ weekly screenplay submissions.  Over 12 weeks, each writer will develop a script for a narrative short film and receive weekly feedback on 10 drafts.

 

The goal of this program is to build a community of confident Saudi screenwriters capable of leading the local film industry and creating Saudi films that can be appreciated by global audiences. 

 

The course, based on global best practices and an understanding of the local context, begins by generating and pitching story ideas that fit the short-medium, and learning the basic rules of narrative screenwriting. Starting week 3, each participant is expected to submit a weekly draft (10 pages maximum)of their screenplay.  

 

The program is designed to foster a space for honest and non- prescriptive critique. We will learn to look beyond personal taste, as we practice diagnostic approaches to giving and receiving feedback that is focused on character (widely considered the building block of any story). 

 

These courses will be supplemented by critically watching short films, reading scripts, and completing writing exercises. Ideally, each screenwriter will complete the course with a production-ready short script. We will meet twice a week on Zoom for 3.5-hour sessions (Mondays and Wednesday, 18:00-21:30 GMT+3). 

 

Course discussions will primarily be held in Arabic, however, participants are expected to watch films and read scripts in both Arabic and English. Each participant is free to write in the language of their choice (Arabic or English) 

 

Program outcomes
  • Ability to generate and pitch story ideas.
  • Experience every step of the writing (and rewriting) process.
  • Practice moderating discussions and delivering honest non-prescriptive feedback.
  • Gain an understanding of different film genres and learn to recognize each one’s conventions.
  • A community of writers that meet consistently to share feedback and develop projects (film and TV).

Starting Date

10th January 2022

Program highlights

Duration
12 Weeks
Format
Live sessions - (every Monday and Wednesday 18:00-21:30 KSA time)
Language
Arabic and English

Application criteria

  • Saudi nationals or individuals whose spouse or mother is a Saudi national.
  • 18 years old or above when the course starts.
  • Fluency in Arabic and comfort to read/watch films in English (participants may WRITE in either language).
  • Dedicate at least 7 hours per week to attend live sessions and an additional 6-8 hours to complete weekly assignments.

Instructor

Raed Alsemari

Raed Alsemari is a filmmaker from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His short film Dunya’s Day premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Jury Award for International Fiction. It’s since toured over 30 film festivals, including Palm Springs ShortFest, San Francisco Int’l Film Festival, Cairo and Durban International Film Festivals. Alsemari completed his MFA in Filmmaking at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Before that, he obtained his BA in History and Literature at Harvard University. In 2019, he was chosen by Screen International magazine as one of five actors/directors featured in their annual “Arab Stars of Tomorrow.” In 2020, he was one of 11 filmmakers chosen for a development program with China/US production company Starlight Media (known for Crazy Rich Asians).

Frequently asked questions

This program is for Saudi nationals or individuals whose spouse or mother is Saudi.

Yes! Once you complete the graduation process, you will receive your graduation certificate.

Contact Us if you still have any questions

Application Process

  • Sign up

    Sign up to Misk Hub and create your profile

  • Apply

    Select this program and click the apply button

  • Evaluation

    We will review your application criteria then decide if this program is right for you.

  • Interview

    Attend one-on-one interview virtually

  • Application confirmation

    Successful applicants will receive an email confirming their program enrollment. We will also share more program-specific information and details about your participation.

Applications closed

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About our partner(s)

The Film Commission is a Saudi government body affiliated with the Ministry of Culture. It was established by a decision of the Council of Ministers in February 2020, in Riyadh, aiming at developing the film sector and the production environment in the Kingdom as well as supporting, motivating and enabling Saudi filmmakers.

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