Bahrain set to become hub for filmmakers
Manama, July 8, 2012
London-based Twickenham Film Group (TFG) is studying plans to film parts of its new blockbuster action film in Bahrain as it branches out to set up a film studio and academy, turning the country into a hub for filmmakers.
However, it is still on the prowl for the perfect location as it needs 30,000 sq m of land to build its mega project, which aims to tap into the Gulf's emerging market, a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News said.
Artist's impressions of the Bahrain Film Studios and Academy have been released in line with an expected visit this week of group founder James Black to finalise the location and future plans.
"We are ready to make a move to Bahrain and are just looking for any Bahraini company or person that has 30,000 sq m of land to sell that is not near (Bahrain International) Airport," said Black.
"We see Bahrain like Singapore or Honk Kong, as a hub in the region, also the tax free situation there is a great benefit. The fact that Bahrain is a financial hub is also a great plus for us as well.
"We are even planning on shooting parts of the new movie Bulldog Drummond: Hero for Hire in Bahraini waters. It will be a James bond style action movie."
In line with the concept of most Hollywood studios TGF will be organising studio tours weekly in hopes of inspiring locals to enter the media sector and also just as a tourist attraction.
Up to 50 jobs could be created for locals and the studio is expected to be up and running by the end of next year.
"The Bahrain Film Studios and Academy will have four sound stages of different sizes," explained Black.
"A state-of-the-art picture and sound editing department will also feature alongside a folly theatre, sound effects department, dressing rooms, wardrobe and scenery workshop. It will also feature executive offices, production offices and academy classrooms. Also included will be a studio cafe and executive restaurant,” he added.
The group has been liaising with the Economic Development Board and Bahrain Embassy in London to turn its plans into reality.
It has also entered talks with Denver-based construction company Sprung, which has worked with major industry players such as Universal Studios and Sony Studios in California, about creating the complex.
"We have done studios before and have a lot of experience in that industry," said Sprung Bahrain managing director Barry Cruise.
"We sent them (TFG) a few different designs and they have picked one and gone through a computer graphic fly-through of the facility.
"Until now all I know is that they are planning to build the studios in the business area, maybe Bahrain International Investment Park.
"We should be the first to know when the location is confirmed, but for now the starting date is not yet set."
Once built and opened, the academy and film studio would also provide media education for Bahrainis and other nationalities with respect to the process of film making, film post-production, television and music production. – TradeArabia News Service