Creative minds come together at Effat Film Festival in Jeddah

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A group of VDP students with the host and guest at the Effat Film Festival. (Photo/Supplied)
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Musicians perform during Effat Film Festival. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 06 April 2019
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Creative minds come together at Effat Film Festival in Jeddah

  • The event was divided in two parts: An exhibition with the posters for the 10 short movies, which were designed by the students, and the screenings of the movies

JEDDAH: Young filmmakers and actors have gathered to present their best work in the 6th Visual and Digital Production (VDP) Showreel at the Effat Film Festival. The four-day event brought together not only the passionate students from Effat University, but other people associated with the film industry inside and outside of Saudi Arabia.
“Especially in 2019, the whole field is blooming, with all these film festivals happening in Saudi Arabia. Our first commercial film was in the cinemas recently. All of this is very thrilling,” said actor and filmmaker Khalid Eslam. “I always say that the most crucial part of this development is that now is our chance to write our own stories. For too long have other people been telling our stories; it is finally time for us to tell what actually happens here.”
Eslam’s movie, called “Roll’em,” was screened in cinemas across the Kingdom. He said: “It felt like I was losing a part of my family, I felt sad for the character in the movie.”
The event was divided in two parts: An exhibition with the posters for the 10 short movies, which were designed by the students, and the screenings of the movies. The VDP program at Effat University, headed by Chair Dr. Mohammed Ghazala, is as pioneer of women’s education in the field of cinematic arts.
Joanna Al-Fattani, the art director of the 6th VDP Showreel and a member of the student council, said: “The country itself is evolving right now, and they are paying much more attention to women’s rights. Through this festival, students were given a chance to convey their message to the world.”
Many international personalities also visited the film festival, such as Abdul Rahman Lahy from Mauritania and Sam Lahoud from Egypt.
Fatima Al-Banawi from Saudi Arabia also participated in the festival.
A former student of the university, she told the festival visitors: “Coming to Effat felt like returning home.”
The 10 movies were presented to a full auditorium. Each one found a distinctive way putting forth the message its writers wanted to convey.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.