Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

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Audience at 1st Golden Falcon Film Fest hosted by the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh.
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Winners of the Golden Falcon Award with the Netherlands ambassador Joost Reintjes (3rd from right) film-maker Mohammad Khawajah (3rd from left) & embassy officials.
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Audience at 1st Golden Falcon Film Fest hosted by the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh.
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Audience at 1st Golden Falcon Film Fest hosted by the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh.
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Audience waiting at the reception of the Golden Falcon Film Fest hosted by the Netherlands Embassy.
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Audience waiting at the reception of the Golden Falcon Film Fest hosted by the Netherlands Embassy.
Updated 19 April 2018
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Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

  • Winners of first Golden Falcon award will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques
  • Film screenings have been revived in KSA as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 

RIYADH: Saudi films have won awards at an international film festival organized by the Netherlands to coincide with the return of cinema to the Kingdom.

The first Golden Falcon Film Festival awards drew Saudi actors, filmmakers and cinema-lovers to the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.

More than 30 shortlisted Saudi films were shown at the maiden festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nine films were nominated, with three each in the best film, best script and best director categories. Overall winners were chosen by an international jury headed by Dutch filmmaker Hans Treffers.

Best movie award went to “Mazban.” The other two films nominated in the category were “Tongue” and “Building 20.”

“The Poetess,” “Matour” and “Atoor” were nominated in the best director category with “Atoor” bagging the award.

“Departures,” “Atoor” and “The Remaining” were nominated in the best script category with “Departures” winning the award.

Besides the Golden Falcon trophy, the winners will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques.

Joost Reintjes, the Netherlands ambassador in Riyadh, told Arab News: “We are proud to organize the first Golden Falcon Film Festival here to promote filmmaking in the Kingdom and provide a platform for young Saudi filmmakers to show what they have to offer.”

Film screenings — banned in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s following religious changes in the Kingdom — have been revived as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

The return of cinema was heralded with a film screening on Wednesday at a newly built theater at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. 

Commenting on the lifting of the 35-year ban, Reintjes told Arab News: “That’s Vision 2030 — it is good sign to diversify and develop.

“Although the cinemas in the Kingdom have only been restarted now, Saudi filmmaking has already made a name for itself on the world stage.

“The Saudi film industry will grow very fast. The level of talent is high,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Qass, lead actor from “Departure,” said: “We have been working for this day for years. 

“Saudis with a thirst for cinema were traveling outside the country — now they can enjoy and share the experience in their homeland.” 

Mohammed Khawajah, a Saudi filmmaker and adviser for the film festival, told Arab News: “The idea for this festival came last year when the lifting of the cinema ban was being discussed.

“The Netherlands embassy had this idea about nine months ago; we sat together and planned the whole festival, which was carried out successfully, with hundreds of people enjoying Saudi films.

“We will improve with our next festival, which will have more fun and entertainment,” he said.


What to wear in 2019: The fashion trends that will dominate the next 12 months

Snakeskin is a major trend in 2019. (Getty Images)
Updated 17 January 2019
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What to wear in 2019: The fashion trends that will dominate the next 12 months

  • The top fashion trends of 2019
  • From Popcorn sweaters to patchwork pieces

DUBAI: Here are some of the top fashion trends that will rule in 2019.
POPCORN SWEATERS
One of the best ways to identify trends these days is to keep an eye on Pinterest. And pom-pom covered sweaters and cardigans — created using circular crochet bobbles known as popcorn stitches — showed a serious surge in (p)interest toward the end of 2018, with pins featuring the kitsch-y style increasing by 1,395 percent in a short space of time — according to the online bulletin board’s “Pinterest 100” report — marking it out as one of the new year’s major trends and the coolest way to stay warm in the region’s cooler months or on trips to colder climates.

RUCHING
It’s an American designer with Lebanese roots, Norma Kamali, who’s often credited with bringing gathered fabrics into the mainstream and popularizing ruching in the 1980s. In 2018, an American model with Palestinian roots — Bella Hadid — was one of numerous runway walkers sporting ruched clothes on the catwalks to promote 2019 collections. Versatile, flattering and easy-to-wear, ruching is one of this year’s most popular ways to make a silhouette sizzle.

SNAKESKIN
Forget leopard- or zebra-print. This year, for those wanting to take a walk on the wild side, the big game is snakes — at least according to several fashion tipsters (including the “Pinterest 100”) and based on the runways of the Spring/Summer 2019 shows, from Gucci’s snakeskin cami dress to Gigi Hadid walking in a snake-print skirt for Versace at Milan Fashion Week. Stay on-trend by shunning the real thing and opting for an eco-friendly faux-snake piece.

YELLOW
Just as Coldplay predicted before they blanded themselves vanilla, it’s “all yellow” this year. Marigold (or “Gen Z,” if you want to get all millennial about it) yellow, specifically, will continue to surf the wave of popularity it grabbed last year, thanks to young celebs including Millie Bobbie Brown (“Stranger Things”) and Yara Shahidi (“Black-ish”) putting it in the spotlight. But lemon yellow, too, will be brightening up the streets this year, as suggested by designers including Marc Jacobs and Chanel at their Spring/Summer shows.

NEON
If yellow isn’t quite bold enough for whatever statement you’re looking to make, you’ll be glad to hear that even-more-eye-searing color — in the form of neon — is also riding high in 2019’s trending fashion lists. After years of pastel design dominance, vibrant tones are going to be big this year. From Off-White’s combo of the snakeskin and neon trends at Paris Fashion Week to Jasper Conran’s doubling-down on neon in London, the Spring-Summer runways were full of them.

TIE-DYE
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a trend long-ridiculed as hopelessly out-of-date will one day be repurposed as bleeding-edge fashion. In 2019, it’s the turn of tie-dye. The style beloved by hippies and psychedelic-rock fans is returning with a vengeance, kickstarted by getting much love shown to it at New York Fashion Week. Admittedly, the 2019 version looks a bit tidier than the retro DIY done-in-my-bathtub styling that was popular last time around, but the kaleidoscopic, flowery patterns at its heart are straight out of the Sixties.

PATCHWORK
Forget the homely, rustic/frumpy vibe traditionally associated with patchwork — in 2019, mismatched patterns will be everywhere, from coats to shoes. High-end designers including Libertine and Isabel Marant (who went for patchwork denim — a fabric that will also be big this year) gave patchwork with a modern twist serious exposure on the catwalks at the major fashion weeks, and that’s already started to rub off on high-street retailers, ensuring patchwork blanket (!) coverage in the near future.

OVERSIZED HATS
If you follow Instagram fashionistas, then this is one trend you’ll definitely have already identified. Big (but, like, BIG) hats were all over social feeds last summer, and brands aren’t going to miss out on the chance to shift a few units this time around — meaning we’ll likely see a swing from cult status to mainstream approval for massive headwear this year.