Saudi Culture Ministry launches training courses for filmmakers

Updated 10 October 2019

Saudi Culture Ministry launches training courses for filmmakers

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture has launched a talent-development program for the film industry as part of one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs, Quality of Life. The talent-development program includes training sessions and short workshops, in cooperation with international institutions.

The program is part of the ministry’s attempts to develop the local film sector in the Kingdom, create job opportunities, and increase the Kingdom’s cultural participation internationally.

The first phase of the talent-development initiative consists of three different programs. The first — on filmmaking in general — will be run in cooperation with the British Film Institute (BFI. The two-week program in Britain will be open to 12 students and will run from October 27 until November 11. The students will participate in an “intensive training course and Master Class” with British directors and producers, and go on a field visit to the renowned Pinewood Studios, home to the James Bond film franchise.

The second program — on film production — will run simultaneously and is open to 20 students. Once again, the BFI and Pinewood are involved and the course will cover all aspects of film production, including lighting, sound, sets and costumes, script writing and editing, directing and location management.

The third program, in cooperation with the University of Southern California (USC), focuses on acting for contemporary cinema and television and will take place in Riyadh from December 8-11. There will be places for 14-16 students.

The whole program covers the art of filmmaking, from screenwriting to post-production, through practical experience and as part of different working groups that include indoor and outdoor photography, directing actors, creating a montage, lighting, and sound.

Aspiring filmmakers wishing to apply for the training programs can register on between Wednesday, October 9, and Monday, October 14 for the filmmaking programs in Great Britain, and between October 20 and November 20 for the acting program in Riyadh.

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

Updated 10 December 2019

GCC summit calls for greater economic and defense unity among Gulf countries 

  • Heads of the delegations land in Riyadh before the 40th Supreme Council meeting gets under way
  • King Salman tells the summit that the GCC has overcome many crises in its history

RIYADH: The GCC summit called for greater regional economic and defense integration as the meeting chaired by King Salman came to a close in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The final statement, read by GCC General Secretary Abdullatif Al-Zayani, called for finalizing legislation for financial and monetary unity by 2025, according to the meeting's final communique.

The statement also called for boosting military and security cooperation to maintain regional security.

“The leaders of the GCC countries have affirmed today their keenness to preserve the strength, cohesion and strength of the GCC …  as an oasis of stability, security, economic prosperity and social peace,” the statement said.

It referred to attacks in the last year against Saudi Arabia, including coordinated missile and drone strikes against major oil facilities blamed on Iran.

The statement said the GCC states “stand unified against the attacks” and that this reflected the Gulf defense agreement that says “aggression against a member state would be considered as aggression against all the GCC states.”

“The highest goal of the Cooperation Council is to achieve coordination, integration and interdependence among the member states in all fields in order to reach their unity,” it said.

The 40th Supreme Council meeting was chaired by King Salman, who met the heads of each delegation as they landed.

They included the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Fahd bin Mahmoud Al-Said and Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

In his opening remarks, King Salman said the GCC had managed to overcome many crises that the region has faced.

He said the current set of challenges “call for concerted efforts to confront them.”

“The Iranian regime continues its hostile actions to undermine security and stability and support terrorism,” the king said.

He said the GCC must “work with the international community to stop the interference of this regime, deal seriously with its nuclear program and the program to develop ballistic missiles.”

There was no mention in the final communique of the dispute between Qatar and other Gulf and Arab countries. 

But Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah was the most senior Qatari official to attend the GCC summit since 2017 - the same year Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a boycott of Qatar over its links to extremist groups among other things.

Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said: “The four countries (boycotting Qatar) continue to support the efforts of the Kuwaiti Emir and value their success.”

Al-Zayani, who is stepping down as secretary general, said all the GCC leaders had praised the efforts of the Emir of Kuwait in preserving the unity of the cooperation. 

At a preparatory meeting on Monday, Gulf foreign ministers approved the nomination of former Kuwaiti Finance Minister Nayef Al-Hajraf as the next secretary-general of the GCC.

His term will begin in April 2020 following the end of Al-Zayani’s term.