Cinema green-lighted

Updated 14 November 2014
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Cinema green-lighted

The green light has been given for establishing cinema houses in Saudi Arabia, following the reported agreement of four government entities.
A source said relevant authorities assigned to take this decision include the Ministry of Interior, the Supreme Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), the General Commission for Audiovisual Media, and the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia).
He said the SCTA and the audiovisual commission have a direct interest in the matter, while the other two are concerned with consultations and coordination.
The first people who introduced cinema to Saudi Arabia were foreigners working in Aramco (now Saudi Aramco), during the 1930s; in the 1990s they became available to Saudis at their sports clubs.
The issue of cinemas in Saudi Arabia resurfaced when a number of media sources published news that allowed the establishment of cinema houses according to Shariah rules, especially after some Saudi producers showed their movies outside Saudi Arabia, and some of them received a number of international awards.
Gulf countries receive large numbers of Saudis during the holiday seasons, achieving huge financial returns, which give private investors clear signs of the feasibility of achieving substantial financial returns. Those opposed to the establishment of cinema in the Kingdom say that Saudi society is a distinguished one, and its values and traditions do not allow such activities.
The film “Wadjda” by Saudi director Haifa Al-Mansour, which is the latest Saudi film, received three international awards during the 69th Venice Film Festival. It became the first Saudi film in the foreign language category to win the award in 2013.
Wadjda, produced by Rotana and Razer films and High Look, was written and directed by Haifa Mansour, which talks about a girl who lives in Riyadh and her journey to own a bicycle.


Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

Updated 11 September 2018
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Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

  • More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show
  • About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions

MONTREAL: Cirque du Soleil will stage a show in Saudi Arabia for the first time later this month, the high-flying acrobatic troupe announced Monday.
The show will take place in the Saudi capital on Sept. 23 to coincide with the country's national day, public relations director Marie-Helene Lagace told AFP.
More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show, which will also be shown on Saudi state television. Cirque says it will be one of its biggest one-off productions ever.
About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions and conform to "the artistic standards for which we are known," Lagace said.
The announcement of Cirque du Soleil's appearance in Saudi Arabia was first made in Los Angeles in April, Lagace noted. But it was unclear whether the show would go on given the diplomatic tensions.
At the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has reopened movie theaters and allowed women and men to attend some concerts together.