Ministry of Justice wins Social Excellence Award

Updated 31 December 2014

Ministry of Justice wins Social Excellence Award

On behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Deputy Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz presented the Princess Seetah Excellence Award for Social Work to the Ministry of Justice for its efforts in women's empowerment.
The award was received by the Minister of Justice Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa from Prince MuqrIn at a presentation in Riyadh this week at the second session of the award dubbed the “Empowerment of divorcees and widows: Socially and economically.”
The ministry was recognized for its efforts in providing high-quality social services to relevant segments of women in society that would help them find solutions to social and family issues.
“The ministry seeks to implement its long-term strategies in social work to promote and support social responsibility programs in government institutions by providing social services and increasing the quality and attention given to female social empowerment programs within government institutions,” said the ministry’s spokesman, Fahd Al-Bakran.
He said the ministry also works to help resolve family disputes through reconciliation and mediation between spouses or individuals in the family. It also facilitates access for divorced persons who face hardships in the courts through dedicated sections in the judicial sectors by linking them to the offices of reconciliation and social services.
“The ministry has given social and family issues an important place within the objectives and strategies of the ministry by opening offices for social service in all courts in the country to contribute to the provision of social services and extension of assistance to the beneficiaries, especially in the field of matrimonial disputes,” Al-Bakran said.

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

Updated 46 min 28 sec ago

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.