Saudi film ‘Najd’ to premiere soon in Kingdom

A scene from the film Najd.
Updated 11 January 2018
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Saudi film ‘Najd’ to premiere soon in Kingdom

JEDDAH: “Najd”, a Saudi film featuring Kuwaiti actress Hayat Al-Fahad, will be premiered in Saudi Arabia, in line with the approval of the General Entertainment Authority for cinemas to reopen in Saudi Arabia.
Khaled Al-Rajeh, a Saudi producer and writer, began preparation two years ago to produce his film “Najd” which revolves around Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt in the 1950s and the present.
In an Interview with MBC TV channel, star Al-Fahad talked about the new film. “It is about young couple’s story — the wife who keeps a secret throughout her life.”
Al-Fahad posted a photo of her in one of the newspapers that published the news of the film on her official Instagram account (@hayatalfahad) and commented: “Najd is the first Saudi film starring yours truly.”
The author and director of “Najd” is Sameer A’aref, who directed several well-known series and movies in the Gulf region, including the Saudi series “37 degrees,” “Tash 17 and 18” and “Shabab albomb 5,” which was classified as one of the most Googled series of 2017.
Najd was filmed in a number of heritage areas, including the Saudi areas of Siddus and Al-Oyainah, as well as several locations in Kuwait. Ninety percent was filmed in Saudi Arabia.
Mamdoh Al-Salem, who organized and supervised the first Saudi film festival with a total of 27 television shows under his name, told Arab News: “We cannot affirm which movie will be the first Saudi movie to be screened in Saudi Arabia as there is a huge number of producers and filmmakers working on a number of movies under international standards.”
“Let’s talk about a real cinema industry and what the Saudi audience wants to see, as until now filmmakers and producers cannot certify Saudi audience preferences as they just have YouTube and television programs as available sources. Are they looking to see comedy, action, drama, history or fantasy? It is a hard task to make predictions, except through experiments in making movies. Thus, our goal as filmmakers is to provide a real cinematic industry for Saudi movies with an international measure.”
The Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA) in Riyadh and the Union of Producers help attract young faces to participate in the film, and has already chosen names.
The president of SASCA in Jeddah, Omar Al-Jasser, told Arab News: “The association helps many filmmakers and drama producers in the country to attract new faces and talents. We offer performance tests and then help to promote actors and actresses to cooperate with them.”
Najd is getting great reactions from people and stars on social media because of the start of Saudi cinema after the decision to reopen cinemas and theaters in the Kingdom.
The movie’s name refers to a geographical central region of Saudi Arabia in which 28 percent of Saudis live. Najd consists of the regions of Riyadh, Qassim and Hail.


Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

Updated 19 April 2019
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Finance officials meet to map out Saudi Arabia’s budget plans

  • Finance representatives of 150 government bodies meet for the Budget Forum 2020

RIYADH: Saudi finance chiefs have kicked off a major conference in the capital aimed at mapping out the Kingdom’s budget requirements.
Around 300 specialists representing 150 government bodies met at the InterContinental hotel in Riyadh for the Budget Forum 2020.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan welcomed delegates to the second edition of the gathering organized by the Saudi Finance Ministry under the slogan “Partnership and Empowerment.”
Al-Jadaan said the ministry was focused on “partnership and commitment,” and sought to share the challenge of developing an effective budget to achieve the Kingdom’s ambitious goals.
“We are also committed to empowering financial leaderships to learn about the ministry’s programs and projects and provide training and qualification opportunities to the best international standards,” he added.
The finance chief said the budget planning process required the collaboration of multiple authorities and a clear strategy based on transparency. 
Items up for discussion at the forum included financial planning in governmental bodies, automation, and the promotion of revenues and efficient spending.
Finance Ministry steering committee chairman, Abdul Aziz bin Saleh Al-Freih, stressed the importance of the forum in getting the ball rolling at an early stage on formulating a general state budget.
Workshops were held on the sidelines of the conference focused on empowering government organizations, and a training program on financial planning and income estimations was also staged.