Cinema licensing body wants KSA to attract producers from all over the Arab world

1 / 2
As both regional and international film distributors are interested in entering the Saudi market, the commission is urged to set the guidelines when selecting movie premieres. (Reuters)
2 / 2
File photo showing a cinema in Riyadh where the Black Panther was being shown last month. (SPA)
Updated 07 May 2018
0

Cinema licensing body wants KSA to attract producers from all over the Arab world

  • Movie screenings returned to the Kingdom on April 18 with the gala premiere of “Black Panther” in Riyadh, and one man in the audience was watching more closely than most.
  • Local film production will be “at the heart of the cinema industry” and a key way to reach out to the world to showcase Saudi identity, culture and talent,, says General Commission for Audiovisual Media chief.

DHAHRAN: Movie screenings returned to the Kingdom on April 18 with the gala premiere of “Black Panther” in Riyadh, and one man in the audience was watching more closely than most.

Reda Alhaidar, the president of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), is in charge of the authority that grants licenses to cinemas now that a 30-year ban has been lifted as part of a bundle of decrees that fall with the Vision 2030 plan of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Alhaidar discussed the role of the commission, its future plans and the local filmmaking industry in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

The new cinemas will not just be about Hollywood blockbusters, he said, assuring those in the local film industry that there will be a place for them too.

“In GCAM, we are developing a local content production framework to ensure locally produced movies,” said Alhaidar. 

“We have a plan to reinvest part of the revenue generated from the tickets in promoting local production.”

Local film production will be “at the heart of the cinema industry” and a key way to reach out to the world to showcase Saudi identity, culture and talent, he said. “We have a pool of talented people in the country and people living abroad and planning to come back, and who can support growing the film production sector.”

According to Alhaidar, both regional and international film distributors are interested in entering the Saudi market. 

Therefore, to ease this process, the role of the commission will be to set the guidelines when selecting movie premieres. 

“In GCAM, we develop regulations and guidelines for the sector, to provide licenses to interested and eligible investors, to censor and classify films for appropriate audiences to ensure they are aligned with the Kingdom’s customs and traditions, and to monitor the sector to ensure there are no violations,” Alhaidar said.

Asked whether the Saudi audience can expect a national Oscar-like event that celebrates local movies, Alhaidar said that the commission is open to all options and that one of its aims is to transform the country into a “production hub where producers from all over the Arab world would be genuinely keen to be based in Saudi Arabia.”


Around 3 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

405,806 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2019
0

Around 3 million arrested for residency, labor violations in KSA

  • 1,227 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 50 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures

RIYADH: Nearly 3 million violators of residency, work and border security systems have been arrested in a year-long roundup, according to an official report.
Since the campaign began in November 2017, there have been 2,987,317 offenders, including 2,328,031 for violating residency regulations, 458,591 for labor violations and 200,695 for border violations, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The report said that 50,388 people were arrested while trying to cross the border into the Kingdom, 50 percent of whom were Yemeni citizens, 47 percent were Ethiopians and 3 percent were of other nationalities.
2,135 people were arrested for trying to cross the border into neighboring countries and 3,697 were arrested for involvement in transporting and harboring those violators. 1,227 Saudi citizens were arrested for harboring the violators against local laws, of which 50 are being detained, pending the completion of procedures.
Immediate penalties were imposed against 443,210 offenders; 405,806 were transferred to their respective diplomatic missions to obtain travel documents; 507,042 were transferred to complete their travel reservations; and 750,504 were deported.