Saudi students get crash course from New York Film Academy

The short films that the students made were screened and appreciated with applause. (REUTERS)
Updated 10 July 2018

Saudi students get crash course from New York Film Academy

  • The short films that the students made were screened and appreciated with applause

JEDDAH: Dar Al-Hekma University in Jeddah has teamed up with the New York Film Academy to run a five-day course to give students in Jeddah filmmaking basics.
After learning the basics, they were asked to put what they had learned into practice by writing, directing and producing short films.
As the students learned so much in five days, certificates were handed out to them at a ceremony on July 8 at the university.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the television director Gilbert Shilton (Law & Order, The Big Easy), Tami Alexander, vice president of the New York Film Academy, and Fahad Al-Shaikh, a Saudi student of the academy. The short films that the students made were screened and appreciated with applause. Each film conveyed a different message and was proof of the creativity, potential and passion of the student.
After the films were screened, Gilbert Shilton distributed the certificates to the students and sat down for the conference.
“I just talked to the students for two days, and in those two days they were able to make these films. Imagine what they can do in six months or in a year?” he said.
Shilton took questions from the audience, answering them in detail. He said he had been greatly impressed by the students’ work over the past few days.
“The thing that touched me was the innocence of the students here,” he said. “Your work should reflect your cultural heritage and norms of the place you represent,” he added.


In bad taste? North Korean-themed restaurant in Seoul removes Kim images

Updated 52 min 32 sec ago

In bad taste? North Korean-themed restaurant in Seoul removes Kim images

  • North Korea-themed decorations were intended to attract attention and make the restaurant more profitable
  • The restaurant’s exterior still has socialist-style propaganda paintings with parodies of North Korean slogans

SEOUL: You can sell North Korean food in South Korea. But you’re likely to get into trouble if you decorate your restaurant with pictures seen as praising North Korea.
Authorities say the owner of a restaurant under construction in Seoul “voluntarily” removed signs with images of North Korean leaders and the North Korean flag from the restaurant’s exterior on Monday, after they were criticized on social media over the weekend.
Police quoted the owner as saying the North Korea-themed decorations were intended to attract attention and make the restaurant more profitable.
Police said they are looking at the possibility that the owner violated South Korea’s security law, under which praising North Korea can be punished by up to seven years in prison.
Full enforcement of the National Security Law has been rare in recent years as relations with North Korea have improved greatly since the Cold War era. In the past, South Korean dictators often used the security law to imprison and torture dissidents until the country achieved democracy in the late 1980s.
Many restaurants in South Korea sell North Korean-style cold noodles, dumplings and other food. But none is believed to have portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, the late grandfather and father of current leader Kim Jong Un, or a North Korean flag.
Despite the removal of the images, the restaurant’s exterior still has socialist-style propaganda paintings with parodies of North Korean slogans such as “More booze to comrades” or “Let’s bring about a great revolution in the development of side dishes.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the owner would remove those decorations as well. The owner hasn’t expressed any intention of changing the restaurant’s concept, according to a Seoul police officer who requested anonymity, citing department rules.
The restaurant is being built in Seoul’s Hongdae neighborhood, a bustling area known for fancy bars and nightclubs.
Both police and local officials refused to reveal details about the owner, citing privacy concerns.
During a visit to the site on Monday, some residents expressed opposition to the restaurant, while others said they were curious about what it would be like once it opens.
“I think it is too early to do this kind of thing (displaying portraits or the North Korean flag). But once this place opens for business I would come here purely out of curiosity,” said Park So-hyun, a company employee.
Another citizen, Oh Sang-yeop, said, “I see they have taken down the portraits and flag, so I think it will be OK.”