Saudi cinema’s rising stars in the frame

Updated 17 April 2018
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Saudi cinema’s rising stars in the frame

  • 350 cinemas with more than 2,500 screens will be opened by 2030
  • “Creating Cinema, One Frame at a Time.”

JEDDAH: Effat University has hosted its fifth annual VDP Showreel, a film festival showcasing student productions and media projects.
The Showreel was organized by the university’s visual and digital production department on Monday under the patronage of Vice President of Board of Trustees and General Supervisor of Effat University, Princess Lolwah Al-Faisal.
The Showreel’s slogan was “Creating Cinema, One Frame at a Time.”
Previous Showreels have drawn praise from leading media figures.
“Your films show that you have one of the main tools for the fourth generation’s media wars. I am proud of what I have seen today and I am happy with these amazing young women with their great ability and bright future,” said Osama Haykal, former Egyptian media minister and president of Egyptian Media Production City.
The program included a VDP exhibition, a red carpet, a 90-minute movie screening made by the VDP Effat filmmakers at the Effat Film Theater, and a tribute to guests of honor.
Chairman of the visual and digital production department, Dr. Mohammed Ghazala, praised Princess Lolwah’s vision in founding the film school.
“No one was sure what would happen,” he told Arab News. “But it was a vision that is now a reality, and we have a film school, film students and film graduates.”
The guests of honor were consultant at the Royal Court and pioneering Saudi filmmaker Abdullah Al-Mohaisen; President of the Academy of Arts in Egypt, Dr. Ahlam Younes; Artistic Director of Dubai International Film Festival Masoud Amralla; Saudi producer Saleh Fawzan; Associate Director of the Tisch School in New York University, Patricia Pearson; and Saudi media producer Ahmed Alshugairi.
“We were impressed (by students’) courageousness in pursuing degrees in VDP at a time when there were no cinemas in the Kingdom,” Pearson said.
“VPD students and alumni, you are entering the industry at a very interesting and unique time, when your education and skills are going to be even more relevant and necessary than when you started the program only a few years ago,” she said.
Alshugairi was impressed with students’ work: “It’s a great start to see students who are passionate about this industry, whether animation, filmmaking, directing or scriptwriting — there is a nice variety.”


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

Updated 24 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize the launch of the Qiddiya Project

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will patronize on Wednesday the launch of the “Qiddiya” Project which is the new entertainment, sports and cultural destination in the Kingdom.
The project will be built in Al-Giddiya area, some 40 km west of the capital, Riyadh.
The foundation stone ceremony of will be attended by a host of local and international officials, as well as a number of decision-makers, major investors and representatives of the regional and international companies, marking the launch of the project’s formal infrastructure. The first phase will be completed by 2022.
In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tounsi, Secretary General of the Foundation Council of the Qiddiya Project of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) said that the inauguration of this vital project is a real translation of the aspirations of the Kingdom’s wise leadership and its relentless efforts to develop mega projects that would contribute effectively to achieve many direct and indirect economic returns, and to advance sustainable development for the benefit of the homeland and the citizen, in accordance with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“About two-thirds of the Kingdom’s population is under the age of 35. There is a great need for Qiddiya Project to provide them with entertainment. The project will save about $30 billion, which will be used to develop the domestic economy and create new job opportunities for Saudi youths,” he added.
For his part, Michael Reininger, Chief Executive of Qiddiya, said, “we are delighted to be a key contributor to boost the Kingdom’s economic development and investment, not only for the entertainment industry but also to projects that will develop the capabilities the young Saudi people.”