British Council turns lens on young Saudi filmmakers

British Council turns lens on young Saudi filmmakers
Modhi Alzamil, a director.
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Updated 25 November 2020

British Council turns lens on young Saudi filmmakers

British Council turns lens on young Saudi filmmakers
  • The research is part of a long-term plan by the British Council to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030

RIYADH: The British Council will host an online event on Nov. 25 for young aspiring filmmakers in Saudi Arabia.

The event, “Through the Eyes of Filmmakers,” will be led by Paul Pauwels, former director of the European Documentary Network.

Pauwels will be joined by a panel of local filmmakers, including Moayad Abualkhair, a documentary producer working on his first feature film; Abdulrahman Khawj , a screenwriter, director and producer who runs the production company Cinepoetics Pictures; Mansour Albadran, a director and producer working in corporate film; and Modhi Alzamil, a director whose first short film, “Dissonance,” explores cognitive dissonance through interviews with people of different ages and backgrounds. 




Mansour Albadran, a director and producer.

The panel, who all attended the renowned Sheffield International Documentary Festival in the UK through the British Council in 2019, will discuss how these types of international opportunities have helped develop their work, their experience as young filmmakers in the Kingdom and ways to pitch a new project.

They will also chat about local and international opportunities, and take part in a Q&A session. 




Abdulrahman Khawj, a screenwriter, director and producer.

This event comes on the back of British Council’s recent Saudi Film Skills research, which outlined the skills and capabilities needed to strengthen and expand the film sector.

The report found that Saudi Arabia has the potential to have more films made by Saudis in the Kingdom, but highlighted skill shortages as a major issue and called for more local training opportunities. 




Moayad Abualkhair, a documentary producer.

The research is part of a long-term plan by the British Council to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and bring UK expertise in the creative industries to young people through capacity-building programs.

“We are delighted to deliver this webinar for aspiring Saudi filmmakers,” said Eilidh Kennedy McLean, director of the British Council in Saudi Arabia. 




Paul Pauwels, former director of the European Documentary Network.

“It follows the launch of our Films Skills Research last month, which highlighted the need for further training and networking opportunities for young people in the sector. We hope through events like this we will inspire the next generation of young Saudi filmmakers, and develop an exciting, vibrant and commercially successful film sector.”

“Through the Eyes of Filmmakers“ is a free event, open to anyone interested in film skills in Saudi Arabia, and will be held from 1-2 p.m.


Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details. (shutterstock)
Updated 18 January 2021

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia

Fraudsters up their game, posing as bank officials on the phone in Saudi Arabia
  • The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers

JEDDAH: Fraudsters have developed a new scam, contacting residents in Saudi Arabia and pretending to be bank staffers requesting customer details.
A number of Arab News staff have received such calls in recent weeks. One caller spoke Urdu while two other callers posing as senior officials from the headquarters of the bank spoke in English and Arabic with a local accent.
They used phone numbers that appeared to be local numbers but upon calling back, the lines failed to connect.
The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.
Speaking to Arab News, Talat Zaki Hafiz, secretary-general of the Media and Banking Awareness Committee of Saudi banks, said: “Saudi banks represented by the Media and Banking Awareness Committee have repeatedly warned bank customers not to react to stray phone calls of any kind coming from unknown sources that ask to update their banking record or personal information.” He further confirmed that banks do not request such information through phone calls or SMS messages.
Mohammed Khurram Khan, a professor of cybersecurity at the King Saud University in Riyadh, told Arab News: “Phishing, an online scam which targets users through emails where individuals are encouraged to click on a link that takes them to fraudulent sites, was troubling people. Now it’s a different kind of scam known as ‘vishing,’ over-the-phone phishing, where scammers persuade users to share their banking information by impersonating a bank official.”

HIGHLIGHT

The racketeers collect phone numbers of customers and ring them up, saying that their bank account or ATM card requires immediate updating. The scammers use the information provided to gain access to their bank accounts.

Vishing that occurs during a telephone call aims to provoke fear in the victim so that customers will be more susceptible to giving out personal, financial, or security details.
Sharing his experience Zafar Hasan, an e-learning consultant in Riyadh, said: “I received a call from someone on an unknown mobile number who introduced himself as a bank employee and told me that my ATM card was going to be blocked. It required an immediate update so I should give my Iqama number (residence permit number) and sixteen-digit ATM card number. I felt something was fishy, so I told him that I would go personally to the bank to update the card.”
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has warned bank customers, both citizens and expatriates, not to fall victim to financial frauds being perpetrated by scammers.
SAMA called on bank customers to take information only from the official channels of the bodies regulating the Kingdom’s financial and investment sectors and inform the competent security authorities about such fraudulent attempts.