Egypt’s ‘Sheikh Jackson’ to screen in US in 2018

Updated 18 October 2017
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Egypt’s ‘Sheikh Jackson’ to screen in US in 2018

JEDDAH: The Egyptian film drama “Sheikh Jackson” will be screened in the US in 2018.
Director Amr Salama wrote on his Instagram account: “This is a big milestone in my career, which I have always wished for. Sheikh Jackson is getting an official release in the United States early 2018.”
“Sheikh Jackson” released in all Egyptian cinemas on Oct. 4.
Salama pays homage to the late Michael Jackson in his film — a tale of how a young imam struggles to reconcile his desire to be a better Muslim with his love for the King of Pop.
The film — which landed a spot as Egypt’s Oscar bid for best foreign film — is based loosely on Salama’s own life as a former orthodox Muslim whose obsession with the flamboyant pop star caused him a crisis of faith.
The film stars Ahmed Malek as a young Khaled who adores Jackson, from his Thriller-era haircut and moon walk to his Bad tour bondage pants.
But he is eventually steered away from the man in the mirror by a macho father who fears his son becoming soft, and later by religious mentors who encourage him to preach to “those who dance to the music of the devil” to reject pop culture.
An older Khaled, played by Ahmad El-Fishawi, is torn up inside. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” he says in the film.
“Sheikh Jackson” was the opening movie for the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, which took place from Sept. 22-29. The film also screened in the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on Oct. 4.


Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

Saudi Arabia is expected to become a significant box office market. (AFP)
Updated 50 min 32 sec ago
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Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

  • Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion)

DUBAI: The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by 2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Saudi Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
Within months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50 to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
Shortly after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint combined.
In July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within five years.
VOX, which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five years.
“Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
He said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest” in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30. “The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and enthusiastic about cinema.”
Will Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter of time.