JEDDAH: The General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM) launched the official Saudi Cinema Twitter account @alcinema_sa on Thursday, generating up to 42,000 followers in three hours — and a day later the followers’ count had increased to 65,000.
The account has tweeted a single word to commemorate the return of cinema to Saudi Arabia: “Odna,” the tweet read, which translates as: “We have returned.” The tweet alone received 1.5k comments, 5.6k retweets and 2.1k likes from film enthusiasts and social-media influencers.
Loay Al-Shareef, a Saudi content creator and producer and an ancient civilization researcher, commented on the official tweet with a suggestion that would make the movie-going experience both fun and educational. “Let’s make a deal and go into each movie with a piece of paper and fill it with words and phrases that we could benefit from in the film, and add in advice to strengthen our English, just as many of us have strengthened our language by watching films,” he said.
Many followers tweeted “welcome back” and suggested movies they wished to watch once theaters are open, while others requested fairly priced tickets.
Shahad Ahmad tweeted, “Initially, please screen masterpieces like The Shawshank Redemption,” to which Sa’ad Naif responded with his own suggestion of “The Best Offer,” as a better film.
Omar Asmari welcomed the account with: “I will hit up the nearest Jeddah theater as soon as it opens for my first 3D movie experience.”
Latifa Shams Al-Din, a Kuwaiti student in Nottingham, said: “I’m willing to visit Saudi Arabia if it means I’ll get to experience their cinematography and the stories they have to tell.”
The account was launched 10 days after the announcement allowing commercial cinemas to begin operation by March 2018. As per The Ministry of Culture and Information’s instruction, screened films will have to abide by the Kingdom’s cultural and religious values.
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