King Abdullah Chair to monitor food prices

Updated 09 July 2012

King Abdullah Chair to monitor food prices

To keep prices of essential food items at reasonable levels, the King Abdullah Chair for Food Security at the King Saud University in Riyadh will shortly start monitoring them, said its head Khalid Al-Ruwais.
“The chair has signed an agreement with the Food Security Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish a center to monitor price fluctuations of strategic foods over the next 10 years,” Al-Ruwais said in a statement quoted by Al-Sharq daily yesterday. The center will start working by the end of August, after the month of Ramadan.
It will monitor the international markets for strategic commodities and also the prices at local markets.
Al-Ruwais said the world index of the Food and Agricultural Organization for strategic food items is falling. “The prices of items such as sugar, grains and meat must have fallen at most local market as well. But the opposite is happening in the Kingdom,” he said.
Private agents and distributors control the import of food commodities.
“Distributors and retailers are responsible for price hikes. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Consumer Protection Society should double their efforts to check price manipulations, particularly before the arrival of Ramadan,” he said.
He attributed the rising prices in the Kingdom's markets — while prices are falling in the exporting countries — to the government’s lack of control on traders who manipulate prices.

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

Updated 19 April 2018

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

  • Winners of first Golden Falcon award will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques
  • Film screenings have been revived in KSA as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 

RIYADH: Saudi films have won awards at an international film festival organized by the Netherlands to coincide with the return of cinema to the Kingdom.

The first Golden Falcon Film Festival awards drew Saudi actors, filmmakers and cinema-lovers to the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.

More than 30 shortlisted Saudi films were shown at the maiden festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nine films were nominated, with three each in the best film, best script and best director categories. Overall winners were chosen by an international jury headed by Dutch filmmaker Hans Treffers.

Best movie award went to “Mazban.” The other two films nominated in the category were “Tongue” and “Building 20.”

“The Poetess,” “Matour” and “Atoor” were nominated in the best director category with “Atoor” bagging the award.

“Departures,” “Atoor” and “The Remaining” were nominated in the best script category with “Departures” winning the award.

Besides the Golden Falcon trophy, the winners will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques.

Joost Reintjes, the Netherlands ambassador in Riyadh, told Arab News: “We are proud to organize the first Golden Falcon Film Festival here to promote filmmaking in the Kingdom and provide a platform for young Saudi filmmakers to show what they have to offer.”

Film screenings — banned in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s following religious changes in the Kingdom — have been revived as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

The return of cinema was heralded with a film screening on Wednesday at a newly built theater at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. 

Commenting on the lifting of the 35-year ban, Reintjes told Arab News: “That’s Vision 2030 — it is good sign to diversify and develop.

“Although the cinemas in the Kingdom have only been restarted now, Saudi filmmaking has already made a name for itself on the world stage.

“The Saudi film industry will grow very fast. The level of talent is high,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Qass, lead actor from “Departure,” said: “We have been working for this day for years. 

“Saudis with a thirst for cinema were traveling outside the country — now they can enjoy and share the experience in their homeland.” 

Mohammed Khawajah, a Saudi filmmaker and adviser for the film festival, told Arab News: “The idea for this festival came last year when the lifting of the cinema ban was being discussed.

“The Netherlands embassy had this idea about nine months ago; we sat together and planned the whole festival, which was carried out successfully, with hundreds of people enjoying Saudi films.

“We will improve with our next festival, which will have more fun and entertainment,” he said.