It feels like Eid, say Saudi film enthusiasts

Saudis arrive to watch Saudi short movies during the "Short Film Competition 2" festival on October 20, 2017, at King Fahad Culture Center in Riyadh. (AFP)
Updated 13 December 2017
0

It feels like Eid, say Saudi film enthusiasts

RIYADH: In a landmark decision, Saudi Arabia on Monday said that cinemas will open in the country for the first time in more than 35 years — and filmmakers in the Kingdom are ecstatic.
Sultan Al-Bazie, director of the Saudi Society for Culture and Arts, told Arab News: “We are returning to what we previously had. As you know, Saudi screened movies in the past, but now we will be better developed and well-organized.
“It will be a great cultural and entertainment experience for the whole family. In the past, we traveled to Dubai and Bahrain to watch movies; now we will have them in Saudi Arabia — Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam.”
Abdullah Qurashi, a Saudi filmmaker and producer, is delighted. “Ever since the news broke, we (Saudi filmmakers, producers, directors, actors) have been going around congratulating each other with ‘mabrouks’ and kisses; it feels like Eid!”
Before, filmmakers in Saudi Arabia faced difficulties and skepticism in financing their films. “Now, there is an actual market... This will have a huge economic impact, and this is so exciting. Now I can confidently approach investors and say, ‘I would like to make a movie,’ and it now sounds like a business pitch and not a hopeful dream.”
Dr. Omar Al-Jaser, a Saudi actor and director, said: “This is wonderful news and coincides with Saudi Vision 2030. I hope that the Ministry of Information and Culture will support both males and females in producing and directing movies financially so that we can be given a chance to produce Saudi films.”

“It’s crucial that Saudi filmmakers take courses abroad to widen their horizons and that they may gain crucial experience. Logistic and financial support from the government is vital in order to develop this field,” he said.
Khaled Yeslam, a Saudi actor, said: “We now have no excuse not to excel in this field. I would like to act in dramatic roles that showcase the struggles of human beings. Globally, all humans struggle and this can break the barrier of stereotyping Saudis… and make people all around the world relate to us. It will bridge gaps.”
The first multiplexes are expected to open in March 2018, and experts predict that by 2030 there will be more than 300 cinemas across the Kingdom.
 


Vox Cinemas wins second license to operate movie theaters in KSA

Updated 23 April 2018
0

Vox Cinemas wins second license to operate movie theaters in KSA

  • Al-Futtaim Group to invest SR2 billion to open 600 screens and provide 3,000 jobs in the next five years
  • Vox Cinemas is the largest cinema operator in the MENA region

JEDDAH: Vox Cinemas, a subsidiary of Majid Al-Futtaim Group, won the second license to operate cinemas in the Kingdom.

The company received the license from the Minister of Culture and Information and Chairman of the General Authority for Audiovisual Media, Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad.

Al-Futtaim Group will invest SR2 billion to open 600 screens and provide 3,000 jobs in the next five years.

This will help achieve the goals of the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision when it comes to diversifying the economy and local production.

Vox Cinemas is the largest cinema operator in the MENA region and the leading regional cinema operator in the Kingdom.

Al-Futtaim Group is planning on opening its first movie theater in the Kingdom during the coming days. It will be in Riyadh Park Mall within the largest Magic Planet Family Entertainment Center in the region.

It consists of four screens, including the first IMAX screen for young people's movies and VOX KIDS, which is dedicated to children’s entertainment.