Saudi film forum raises curtain on new-look cinema

The forum will bring together key stakeholders across the design, construction and technology sectors to discuss the latest techniques of building world-class cinemas. (Supplied)
Updated 18 March 2019

Saudi film forum raises curtain on new-look cinema

  • Cinema Build KSA will gather experts from around the world to be a part of Saudi plans to open more than 2,500 screens in the next five years

RIYADH: Saudi entrepreneurs will be shown the latest advances in global cinema design and construction at a major forum in Riyadh next month.
The Cinema Build KSA forum on April 14-15 at the Four Seasons hotel in Riyadh comes as the world eyes Saudi Arabia’s efforts to unlock the massive potential of its cinema market as part of wide-ranging Vision 2030 economic reforms.     
The Kingdom is set to have almost 350 cinemas with more than 2,500 screens creating more than 30,000 jobs.
The cinema forum, organized by  Eyes of Cities in collaboration with  Great Minds Event Management, will bring together key stakeholders across the design, construction and technology sectors to discuss the latest techniques of building world-class cinemas.
The event will  also highlight new building solutions and equipment used in developing future cinemas, multiplexes and malls.    
General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM) CEO Bader Al-Zahrani said: “The cinema sector in Saudi Arabia will see significant growth, especially with the commission’s efforts to promote national and foreign investment in the sector.”
GCAM is working toward achieving Quality of Life Program’s goal by opening 45 cinemas by 2020, said Al-Zahrani, who will inaugurate the Cinema Build KSA forum and deliver the opening speech.
Cinema Build KSA will gather experts from around the world to be a part of Saudi plans to open more than 2,500 screens in the next five years.
With licenses being issued to the first set of exhibitors, authorities are setting up a road map to achieve their goal of becoming leaders in developing world-class cinemas.     
Commenting on Cinema Build KSA, Leila Masinaei, managing partner at Great Minds Group, said: “The cinema industry in the MENA region is undergoing a massive expansion. The lifting of the 35-year cinema ban in KSA, rapid population growth and urbanization, and the regional focus on economic diversification and new strategies that focus on the leisure and entertainment sectors are among key factors for this growth.”


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.