A revolution in urban development, located on the Red Sea in the northwestern Saudi province of Tabuk, NEOM is striving to provide a new vision of the future, and the way in which we function as a progressive society. An accelerator between AI and the human hand, the as yet untouched land provides a canvas with limitless boundaries for our short film showcasing Saudi youth, represented by up-and-coming Saudi models Amira Al Zuhair, Sophie Alshehry, and Domie Alsalim.
Shot over two days in the midst of the pandemic, Vogue Arabia photographed and filmed the three models through the unseen, diverse, and majestic landscapes of Tabuk. The project was inspired by conceptual land art from the late Sixties and the context of time, relativity, and space. This video project also serves as a reflection of the power that occurs with such colossal change at such hyperkinetic speed.
Behind the camera, Vogue enlisted fellow directors Txema Yeste, who has shot numerous iconic Vogue covers worldwide with stars such as Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Amber Valetta, and award-winning director of photography Joao de Botelho, to work alongside Vogue Arabia’s fashion director Katie Trotter.
“I would say we have lived through one of the most amazing experiences available to any filmmaker,” comments Botelho.“It was such a unique and special project, from the people we met on location as we moved from place to place, the team we had on set, and the landscapes that surrounded us. While standing alone within such vast and unique scenery, I couldn’t help feeling so small, but yet again so important and responsible. As a filmmaker that raw feeling of curiosity is so gratifying and the memories we shaped and now cherish have given me the profound urge to go back and explore the Saudi culture further.”
For Yeste, the infinite landscapes and the drive toward the future inspired him to look closely at the complex relationship between body and space. “A canvas has boundaries, it has limitations,” shares the photographer. “Yet here, within the very openness of the earth, we had a feeling of limitless parameters.”
As the poet William Blake once said, “Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”Certainly, NEOM is on the periphery of extraordinary and holds the promise of what the future could in fact be.
For more information visit neom.com
Photography and video direction: Txema Yeste
Fashion director: Katie Trotter
Cinematography: Joao Botelho
Editing: Ogi Curcic
Hair: Adrian Clark
Makeup: Lisa Houghton
Junior fashion editor: Mohammad Hazem Rezq
Photography assistants: Pablo De Pastors, Jonatan Campos, Will Ferguson
On-set producer: Camilla Fitz-Patrick
Off-set producer: Laura Prior
Local production: Specter Production
Composer: Anders Singh Vesterdahl
Sound mixer: Brian Dyrby
Drone pilot: Kie Willis
Drone technician: Will Ferguson
Drone operator: Ahmed Ablawi
Models: Amira Al Zuhair, Domie, Sophie Ahmed Ali Alshehry
With special thanks to the entire @discoverneom team and support crew