Ed Sheeran searches for new lines in movie ‘Songwriter’

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran poses during a photocall for the film ‘Songwriter.’ (AFP)
Updated 24 February 2018
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Ed Sheeran searches for new lines in movie ‘Songwriter’

BERLIN: British singer Ed Sheeran said on Friday that the hardest part of songwriting was coming up with lines that had never been written before as a new documentary detailing his creative process premiered at Berlin’s international film festival.
The movie “Songwriter” was directed by Sheeran’s cousin, Murray Cummings, and follows the Grammy winner as he travels around the United States and England writing songs on his laptop, jamming in a garden and recording in the studio.
The intimate portrait of Sheeran, who was the most-streamed artist on music service Spotify globally in 2017, includes footage of him belting out songs while crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, returning to high school to see his music teacher and talking to his father about his songs.
“I think the most difficult thing to do with writing a song is finding a phrase that you haven’t heard before because there’s always a song that’s going to be like: ‘I love you baby like crazy, I miss you maybe’,” Sheeran told a news conference.
He said he had learned not to push himself if he was struggling to write and did not believe writer’s block existed.
“What I do when I can’t write a song is I just put the guitar down and go and do something else for about a couple of weeks and then come back and then I’ll be able to write a song,” the 27-year-old said.
“So the way that my mind is now is, I will be able to write songs forever — they probably will start being about pretty mundane things because my life is getting more and more calm.”
Sheeran said he liked the documentary because it showed a song being written from start to finish, rather than just an album being recorded.
“I like that Murray found a niche that hasn’t really been done before. It’s quite difficult to find something that hasn’t been done in a music movie,” Sheeran said.
Sheeran, who said he planned to make a film next year in which he would play something other than himself, listed “Goodfellas,” “Cool Runnings” and “Love Actually” as his favorite movies.
Cummings told Reuters the documentary would give fans an insight into Sheeran off-stage.
“When he’s on his own he’s kind of very like relaxed and chilled and stuff. So I think they’re going to see that’s what he’s like because this film just kind of shows what I see every day,” Cummings said.


Winners of prestigious photography award announced at Riyadh forum

Colors of Arabia held an event to honor artists in Riyadh. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 14 December 2018
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Winners of prestigious photography award announced at Riyadh forum

  • Colors of Arabia forum held under the patronage of SCTH President Prince Sultan bin Salman

RIYADH; The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has announced the winners of the Prince Sultan Bin Salman Photography Award in four categories.
Winners of the prestigious award, which was launched to recognize budding talent and efforts to highlight the Kingdom’s heritage, received SR300,000 each and shields at a ceremony held at the Colors of Arabia forum under the patronage of Prince Sultan bin Salman, SCTH president.
The forum, which is being held at Riyadh’s International Convention and Exhibition Center, spans 15,000 square meters and is expected to have attracted 30,000 visitors by the time it ends on Sunday.
The award for the “pioneers” category, which recognizes the work of Saudis who have successfully contributed to the development of local artists, was won by a photographer in Hafr Al-Batin who began capturing day-to-day life in the Eastern Province city at only 12 years of age. The work of Jarallah Al-Hamad is now used in government brochures.
The award in the “literature and publications” category, which was open to contenders of any nationality both within and outside the Kingdom, recognizes photographers who have captured shots for publications and the film industry. Amin Al-Qusayran, a photographer and graphic designer from Madinah who began pursuing his passion 15 years ago, had previously won two awards in recognition of his work. Al-Qusayran is also author of a pictorial book shedding light on the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
The “civilized heritage” category, meanwhile, was open to photographers from around the globe seeking to preserve world heritage through the power of image.
The award for this category was jointly won by two photographers of Arab descent. Mohamed Bouhsen, from Bahrain, had left university to document national heritage in his country and the Arabian Peninsula at large. He won the award alongside Jalal Al-Masri, an Egyptian photographer who has taken part in 133 local, Arab and international exhibitions.
The STCH also announced the winners of the photo and short film awards in seven categories.
Mazen Flamban, who won the award in the “cultural heritage” category, expressed his surprise and joy at having had his work recognized.
“My ambition is to revive Hijazi heritage through my lens,” Flamban told Arab News. “This was the first year I joined the competition. My photo depicts an old woman who lives alone as she reminisces over old photos.”