Short film, big opportunity for Gulf filmmakers

Updated 08 December 2017

Short film, big opportunity for Gulf filmmakers

JEDDAH: Budding filmmakers in the Gulf are being handed a unique opportunity to see their work shine on a global stage thanks to the British Council’s “Small Screen, Short Film” festival.
Organizers of the project are inviting ambitious young directors who are Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents or citizens — or citizens living in the UK — to submit films no longer than three minutes via their smartphones.
The best entries will be screened to a worldwide audience during the online festival, which runs from March 15 to 25, 2018.
It is the first short-film festival for filmmakers aged 14 to 25 in the region and, to help people develop their entries, the British Council has partnered with Into Film, a British film-based educational charity, to create a step-by-step smartphone film guide, which is available for download from the festival website.
The competition boasts a jury of renowned GCC and UK filmmakers, who will shortlist the films to be screened.
Jury members already confirmed include Emirati director Abdulla Al-Kaabi, best known for critically acclaimed film “Only Men Go to the Grave”; Academy Award and four-time BAFTA award-winning British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, whose documentaries “Amy” and “Senna” won him high praise; and English actress and writer Amy Lowe.
Of the shortlisted films to be screened during the festival, four winners will be selected to receive one-on-one workshops with UK film talent.
Rehana Mughal, the British Council’s senior program manager for culture and sport in the Gulf, told Arab News: “The short films are a work of fiction — this just means it is a created story. This can be based on reality, it can be a drama or a comedy, and can be in either animation or live action.

Growing passion
“The medium of short film allows for ease of making, and the equipment of a smartphone or tablet means most people have access.”
Amir Ramzan, Saudi Arabia country director at the British Council, said: “Over our years in the Gulf, we’ve seen a growing passion among young people toward sport and culture in their communities, and have created the culture and sport program to provide a platform to support and grow this talent.
“We believe that everyone should be able to reap the benefits that being involved in sporting and cultural activities can bring, the idea being to help young people understand that you don’t necessarily have to be an artist or a footballer to be successful in this field, and that there are many exciting career opportunities in these sectors.”
Announcing the festival, the British Council tweeted: “Think you can make a great short film using your smartphone or tablet? Then check Small Screen, Big Film, a filmmaking competition and online film festival for filmmakers in the Gulf or Gulf nationals living in the UK.”
The British Council also tweeted: “Aged 14-25 and from the Gulf? The first ever Gulf smartphone film festival is now open for entries! two categories with 20 films screened online in March. Visit: … #keepitshort #competition.”
Entries close on Jan. 31, 2018.

Saudi crown prince sends letter of thanks to President Jinping after leaving China

Updated 2 min 12 sec ago

Saudi crown prince sends letter of thanks to President Jinping after leaving China

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent on Saturday a letter of thanks to Chinese President Xi Jinping, after leaving China and concluding his Asia tour.

In the letter, the crown prince expressed “gratitude and appreciation” for the Jinging’s hospitality during his visit with the Saudi delegation. 

Here is the letter in full:

His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

Warm greetings:

As I leave your friendly country, I would like to express to your Excellency my deepest gratitude and appreciation for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to me and my delegation.

We had constructive talks and I am sincerely looking forward to deepening cooperation and creating closer ties in all areas between our two countries, to evolve into strategic relations under the leadership of King Salman and your Excellency.

I wish your Excellency continued health and happiness and to your country and people more progress and development.

Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud