‘Changing the Script’: Red Sea film festival announces theme, honors three cinematic innovators 

Jack Lang, left, former French minister of culture, Kim Dong-ho, right, founder of South Korea’s Busan Film Festival, and Daniela Michel, founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico
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Updated 12 February 2020

‘Changing the Script’: Red Sea film festival announces theme, honors three cinematic innovators 

  • Three Gold Yusr awards will be presented to the trio at the opening ceremony of the Red Sea Film Festival on March 12

JEDDAH: The Red Sea International Film Festival announced on Tuesday that its inaugural session, which will be launched next month in Jeddah, will have the theme “Changing the Script.” 

The festival announced the honoring of three film innovators who have made great contributions to the industry. They are Jack Lang, former French minister of culture, Kim Dong-ho, founder of South Korea’s Busan Film Festival, and Daniela Michel, founding director of the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico.

Festival director Mahmoud Sabbagh said: “The honoring of these three legendary figures is at the heart of the Red Sea Film Festival’s goals. An appreciation of pioneers of the film industry, who contributed to unlocking artistic capabilities of their compatriots and developing cinematic masterpieces to be enjoyed for generations.”

He said: “It coincides with the founding moment of the film industry in our country, and in honoring these individuals looks at how the introduction of similar international models can add to the dialogue establishing Saudi’s film industry.”

Lang was appointed culture minister by then-French President Mitterrand in 1981. He created a revolution in the film sector, where he worked to develop a profitable infrastructure for the French film industry. 

He redefined the state’s involvement in cinema production with the restructuring of existing funds, a strategy that paid off handsomely. He oversaw the creation of the French National Cinema Center and the Independent Film Support Fund, establishing new funds such as the Mass Production Film Fund. His innovative idea, known as the SOFICA funds — a private money funding system — was the crown jewel of his plans.

Kim Dong-ho is considered a giant of Korean cinema. He is the founder and former chairman of the Busan International Film Festival, launched in 1996. 

Throughout his career, he has made significant contributions to shaping Korea’s cultural landscape. From 1988, he was president of the Korean Motion Picture Promotion Corp. (now the Korean Film Council), contributing to the expansion of the cultural scene, deepening the base of the country’s film industry and establishing its films as a global force. 

Daniela Michel is the founding director of the International Morelia Film Festival, established in 2003 as an annual festival to support a new generation of Mexican directors, and credited with the rise of Mexican cinema internationally. 

The direct result of this is the prominence of a new generation of Mexican filmmakers, that is winning major prizes and gaining a permanent place in major film festival competitions. Collectively they have come to be known as “The Second Golden Age” of Mexican cinema.

Three Gold Yusr awards will be presented to the trio at the opening ceremony of the Red Sea Film Festival on March 12.
 


It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

Updated 04 April 2020

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

  • Saudi foreign and energy ministers say Moscow's claim that Kingdom withdrew from the OPEC+ deal was unfounded
  • They said it was Russia that abandoned the agreement, leading to a collapse in world oil prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."

"The minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the statement said.

In fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.

Prince Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the statement said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.

He further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."

OPEC+ refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil prices. 

In a separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.

Novak "was the first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.

He said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns." 

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production by 10-15 million barrels per day.

Prince Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.

The global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fuel demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.

A global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest producer of crude.

A meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.