Founder | CEO
Mohammed is a Saudi filmmaker based in Dammam. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from King Saud University in Riyadh, and has been an art teacher for 23 years. He works in various fields of art, including music, design, fiction, and non-fiction film. Mohammed is a founding member of the Cinema Association and a creative member of the Saudi Film Festival. His films have been screened in many regional and international film festivals, such as the Palm Springs Film Festival (USA), Dubai International Film Festival, and the Saudi Film Festival. He has received multiple nominations and awards, including the Best Director Award for "The Wedding Dress" at the Short Film Competition in Riyadh in 2018, the Best Film Production Award for "Black" at the Saudi Film Festival in 2019, and the Jury Award for "Black" at the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival in 2020. In 2022, he published his first book titled "The Mistakes I Haven't Made Yet." Additionally, he served as a member of the short film jury at the Arab Film Festival in Malmo, Sweden in 2021.
Head of Development & Training
A writer/director/producer of feature films and an educator for over twenty-five years. His first short film Revelation made its broadcast premiere on The Sundance Channel. James made his feature film debut, Sleepwalk, which premiered at SXSW Film Festival through his own production company. The Independent Film Channel showcased Sleepwalk as part of IFC's Next Wave Films where it ran monthly for 3 years. His most recent film Around June played festivals around the world and was theatrically released in 2012, and is currently airing on Showtime.
An educator for the past fifteen years, James has taught filmmaking in San Francisco where he ran a wildly successful screenwriting workshop, and is currently on the Directing Faculty at the prestigious University of Southern California. He has traveled around the globe teaching and inspiring the next generation of filmmakers, most recently in Shanghai, China – where he lived/worked and taught at the Film Academy at Shanghai University, and in Saudi Arabia, where he has traveled to Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah – giving workshops and training both directors and actors. Here in Saudi Arabia, James feels most at home, as the passion of his students is alive and constantly evolving.
Actor| Writer | Producer
Jon Gries starred in the cult smash hit "Real Genius" (1985). By the 1990s he'd moved over to TV, landing memorable roles on "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox, 1990-2000); "Martin" (Fox, 1992-97); and "The Pretender" (NBC, 1996-2000). After appearing in "Get Shorty" (1995), Gries landed a breakout role as Uncle Rico in the surprise hit "Napoleon Dynamite" (2004) and joined the sprawling cast of "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010). A self-professed late bloomer, Gries directed his first film, "Pickin & Grinnin," in 2010, before landing his first voice acting role on the animated "Napoleon Dynamite" (Fox, 2012). He can currently be seen in HBO's new hot "The White Lotus" which airs around all over the world.