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Saudi Film Festival Seeks to Boost Local Industry

Saudi Film Festival Seeks to Boost Local Industry

Tuesday, 22 January, 2019 - 07:00
The Saudi Film Festival will hold its fifth edition in March. (SPA)
Al-Dammam - Asharq Al-Awsat
The Saudi Film Festival announced the launch of the registration period for films and scripts seeking to take part in its fifth edition this coming March.

The categories include: feature, documentary and student films.

The event is organized by the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Dammam, in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The Golden Palm award will be given to the best participants during the closing ceremony, which will be followed by the film screenings at the Ithra Center. It will also be awarded to the best documentary about a Saudi city and to the best poster based on the audience voting, to encourage filmmakers to market their works.

The festival is one of many programs established under the Saudi National Initiative for the Development of the Saudi Film Industry launched by SASCA.

Since its first edition in 2008, the festival has sought to advance the film industry, promote cultural mobility and provide opportunities for Saudi talents. It has also offered opportunities for filmmakers to display their works and meet the best practitioners in the field from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

The festival will honor Saudi and Gulf cinema figures, and will include 10 training workshops and 10 seminars, as well as the screening of films from the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. It will also host representatives from the production market and launch a number of books about cinema.

Omar bin Abdulaziz Al-Saif, SASCA's chairman and general supervisor of the festival, said: "This year’s gathering would include a number of unique programs to support creative young talent, while also promoting and developing the Kingdom’s film industry."

"The festival seeks to create an environment for creative brainstorming as part of a year-round plan that offers many opportunities for filmmakers to learn directly from the best local and international practitioners, provide them with the infrastructure to showcase their films and communicate with the audience," he added.

Ithra Director Ali Al-Mutairi said that the festival had a key role to play in developing the Saudi film industry and that this edition will extend over six days in partnership with SASCA.

Ahmed Al Mulla, director of the festival, said that the upcoming edition will feature, for the first time, Gulf, Arab and international works. It will also include workshops, seminars and films targeting children.

The festival said that registration is open until February 20.

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