As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Effat University has launched its sixth annual Showreel program. With the slogan “The World Through Their Eyes,” Showreel is the university’s celebration of movies made by its female students and graduates from the Visual and Digital Production (VDP) Department, which is the first in the Kingdom to teach filmmaking.
The opening ceremony will be held on Thursday (April 4) under the patronage of Princess Lolowah Al-Faisal, vice president of the board of trustees and general supervisor of Effat University.
Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, president of Effat University, said: “We began working in this area six years ago and made efforts at the highest standards in order to become pioneers in teaching filmmaking in the Kingdom. We thank God that our efforts have been productive and that Saudi society has reacted positively to Saudi filmmaking.”
Osama Haykal, former Egyptian media minister and president of the Egyptian Media Production City, will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will be opened by actress Fatima Al-Banawi, an Effat graduate.
The guests of honor will be actress Maryam Al-Ghamdi from Saudi Arabia, film director Nawaf Al-Janahi from the UAE, Fatima Al-Husainan from the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in Kuwait, producer Sam Lahoud from Lebanon, Egyptian film critic Tarek Al-Shinnawi, Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzi, and Abdulrahman Lahi, a Mauritanian producer and president of the council of the Cultural Resource Institution.
The event will come at the conclusion of a week packed with public workshops presented by Effat University students at the Effat Library.
The festival will begin with workshops by Richard Litvin, American producer and professor at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, which has been in academic partnership with Effat University since 2016.
The following workshops will be held: Screenwriting by Bahraini producer Bassam Al-Thawadi; Production, Financing and Distribution in Film Making by Sam Lahoud; and Cultural Management and Innovative Marketing by Abdulrahman Lahi.
A seminar entitled ‘The Art of Watching Films’ will be presented by Tarek Al-Shinnawi, in addition to a lecture on Kuwaiti cinema by Fatima Al-Husainan as well as a workshop on producing a creative vision by Nawaf Al-Janahi.
The festival will also include a seminar for his new book “From Makkah to Cannes” by Lebanese critic Ibrahim Al-Aris. The book deals with the movies of Saudi producer Abdullah Al-Mohaisen.
The Visual and Digital Production Department at Effat University was established in 2013 and became the first and only one in the Kingdom after being approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. The program is in collaboration with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and was further developed with the support of the New York Arts and Film School.
The visual and digital production department at Effat University includes film production, animation, screenwriting, and interactive media.