UK film firm will build an Academy of Film and a film production facility in Bahrain

Twickenham Films, the London-based firm behind the recently announced $97m Saladin movie, on Tuesday said its Film Academy plans for Bahrain should be operational by the end of 2013. The company, which is looking to produce more films in the Arab world, said its plans for the Gulf kingdom include an Academy of Film and a film production facility.

Officials said they are “moving swiftly ahead” with its plans for the Gulf kingdom, adding they have the support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board and the Bahrain Embassy in London.

James Black, head of production and executive producer at Twickenham Films, said he is working closely with the Bahrain Economic Development Board to create the facilities in Bahrain. Once built and open, they will create employment in Bahrain, Black added in a statement.

He said the Film Academy plans to provide opportunities for talent across the Middle East region, and to attract a number of international film makers to Bahrain.

It will also encourage the development of local film production in the region, Black added.

Black said he is also in talks with Sprung, a construction company, with regards to the building of the studio complex in Bahrain.

Consisting of at least four sound stages, administration offices, academy classrooms, dressing rooms and post-production facilities, Black said he is looking for a site of at least 20,000 sq m of land.

He is also in talks with the Bahrain International Investment Park as part of his search for the ideal location for the facilities.

The firm in February said it would look to cast Hollywood actor George Clooney to play the title role in its multi-million dollar movie, Saladin.

Saladin tells the story of the 12th century warrior king and his fight against Richard the Lionheart in the Third Crusade.

Twickenham has also announced plans for 10 new productions, many of which will be shot in and partly on location in the Middle East.

Related Article: Buyer saves Twickenham film studios

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