Saudi Arabia’s Ithra Film Production unveils two new films at Cannes 

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra Film Production unveils two new films at Cannes 
Head of performing arts and cinema at Ithra Majed Z. Samman and Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy. (@Ithra)
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Updated 14 July 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra Film Production unveils two new films at Cannes 

Saudi Arabia’s Ithra Film Production unveils two new films at Cannes 
  • The films are part of Ithra’s commitment to nurture and develop talent across the Kingdom’s creative industries
  • Both movies, which are being produced under the Ithra Film Productions banner, are scheduled for release in 2023

RIYADH: The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is unveiling two new films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The projects are part of its contribution to the Saudi Pavilion, which is being hosted by the Saudi Film Commission at the festival.
Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy will introduce his Ithra-commissioned film “Sea of Sands” alongside the unveiling of Saudi independent filmmaker Khalid Fahad’s “Valley Road.” 
The films are part of Ithra’s commitment to nurture and develop talent across the Kingdom’s creative industries.




Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy will introduce his Ithra-commissioned film “Sea of Sands” alongside the unveiling of Saudi independent filmmaker Khalid Fahad’s “Valley Road.” (Arab News/ Ammar Abd Rabbo)

Both movies, which are being produced under the Ithra Film Productions banner, are scheduled for release in 2023.
Ithra said the cast and crew for both would consist of aspiring Saudi talent, which would nurture a generation of film creatives.
They follow the successful international release of Ithra’s first commissioned film “Joud,” which is described as “an unconventional meditation on the cycle of life” and an “ancient poem for modern times.”
The film uses an experimental story structure derived from a pre-Islamic form of poetry, the qasida, and is dialogue-free. It was shot in 16 locations across Saudi Arabia and screened at several international film festivals.




Ithra said the cast and crew for both would consist of aspiring Saudi talent, which would nurture a generation of film creatives. (Arab News/ Ammar Abd Rabbo)

“Ithra Film Productions is a leading indie film producer in Saudi Arabia,” said Majed Z. Samman, head of performing arts and cinema at Ithra and producer of both new films. “We support the Kingdom’s growing film industry by nurturing homegrown talent and fostering cinema and filmmaking in Saudi Arabia. We are honored to announce our next two projects at one of the world’s most prestigious film fairs as part of the Saudi Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival.”
Hefzy has written, produced and co-produced nearly 40 feature films in Egypt, the US, the UK and the Arab world. 
“Sea of Sands” is a coming-of-age story about a young Bedouin orphan and a camel who form a special bond and embark on a journey across Saudi Arabia.
“Ithra has played a significant role in supporting independent filmmakers from Saudi Arabia at a critical time just as the Kingdom’s booming film industry begins to take shape,” said Hefzy. “I am thrilled to work with them and all the Saudi and Arab talent who will be joining this exciting project.”




“Sea of Sands” is a coming-of-age story about a young Bedouin orphan and a camel who form a special bond and embark on a journey across Saudi Arabia. (Arab News/ Ammar Abd Rabbo)

The film will be shot in various locations across Saudi Arabia.
“Valley Road” follows the journey of an autistic man called Ali who gets lost on his way to see a doctor. He finds himself alone in the middle of nowhere, but a series of obstacles and challenges cannot stop him from discovering the world ahead of him.
Apart from Ithra’s commissioned films, the center is also the driving force behind several initiatives supporting the Kingdom’s film industry.
Ithra Cinema provides a space for the country’s film talent to hone their skills and showcase their work.
It is home to initiatives and programs such as Saudi Film Production, Saudi Film Days, and the Ithra Film Society.
Ithra is also the cradle of the annual Saudi Film Festival, which supports local talent and focuses on content development.
Ithra Film Productions has produced 20 films, of which 15 have won local, regional and international awards.
The center also offers people a learning experience through a training and shadowing program, providing an opportunity for those who are passionate about filmmaking to craft their career in the field.


Malika El-Maslouhi fronts new campaign for Frame

Malika El-Maslouhi fronts new campaign for Frame
Malika El-Maslouhi fronts a new campaign for Frame. Instagram
Updated 18 October 2021

Malika El-Maslouhi fronts new campaign for Frame

Malika El-Maslouhi fronts new campaign for Frame

DUBAI: The fashion campaigns just keep rolling in for Malika El-Maslouhi. The Moroccan-Italian model was selected to star in the new Frame Fall 2022 campaign, which was shot by the Los Angeles-based brand’s art director and photographer Caitlin Taffs.

The half-Arab catwalker appears in a series of images wearing key pieces from American design duo Jens Grede and Erik Torstensson’s latest ready-to-wear offering.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by FRAME (@frame)

For the campaign, the 22-year-old posed against a white backdrop wearing an oversized denim jacket layered with a white button up that was opened to reveal a black shirt underneath. The look was paired with relaxed trousers and white leather shoes. El-Maslouhi also appears in the photographs wearing a leather, cropped sweater with tie-up pants as well as a leather trench coat.

Moroccan-Egyptian-Dutch model Imaan Hammam also partnered with the Los Angeles-based label last year on a signature capsule collection boasting 20 pieces that launched during New York Fashion Week. 

El-Maslouhi, who was born in Milan to an Italian mother and a Moroccan father, is one of the most in-demand models in the fashion industry at the moment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MALIKA (@malika.elmaslouhi)

The catwalk star, who made her modelling debut when she was 18-years-old, has had a stellar Fall 2022 season, gracing the runways of storied fashion houses in New York, London, Milan and Paris and walking for the likes of Ulla Johnson, Prabal Gurung, David Koma, Boss, Missoni, Messika and more.

In the past, she has walked for Dior, Chanel and Valentino, among others, in addition to appearing in international campaigns for prestigious brands like Lanvin and Dundas.

Meanwhile, she was recently tapped to be the ambassador of luxury womenswear label La Perla’s new beauty line, La Perla Beauty.

The model was selected to be the face of the French brand’s signature scent.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MALIKA (@malika.elmaslouhi)

And when she’s not modelling collections, she’s helping design them.

She recently teamed up with London-based retailer Ishkar on a range of necklaces handcrafted by jewelers in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The collection includes the Malika Choker, a handwoven, gold-plated piece complete with an adjustable M clasp that can be worn in a variety of ways that retails for $101, with 20 percent of the sale going toward the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, a non-governmental organization that supports small businesses in Afghanistan and the Middle East.


Artists, critics join Riyadh Art Memento Exhibition discussion panels

Artists, critics join Riyadh Art Memento Exhibition discussion panels
Updated 18 October 2021

Artists, critics join Riyadh Art Memento Exhibition discussion panels

Artists, critics join Riyadh Art Memento Exhibition discussion panels
  • Exhibition showcases artworks and paintings of Saudi artists over the past five decades

RIYADH: Saudi artists, academics and critics will take part in five discussion sessions as part of the Art Memento Exhibition being held at the National Museum in Riyadh until Nov. 6.

The dialogue sessions, organized by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, will focus on the history of visual arts in the Kingdom and the factors that influence artistic development, along with the role of what was previously known as the General Presidency of Youth Welfare in supporting art and artists over five decades.

The first of the dialogue sessions will be held on Monday under the title “The Journey of Art Collections from Youth Welfare to the Ministry of Culture.” Dr. Suzan Al-Yahya and Dr. Hanan Al-Ahmed will take part in this session as panelists, while Dr. Maha Al-Senan will be the facilitator.

The second session, “Towards a Better Organization of the Acquisition of Artworks,” will be held on Tuesday, with visual artists Mohammed Al-Saawi, Sara Al-Omran and Abdulrahman Al-Sulaiman as panelists and Hafsa Al-Khudairi as facilitator.

The third session will be held next Sunday under the title “The Features of Saudi Visual Arts from Modern to Contemporary,” and will feature Dr. Mohammed Al-Resayes, Dr. Eiman Elgibreen and Faisal Al-Khudaidi as panelists and Dr. Khulood Al-Bugami as facilitator.

“Fostering Arts and the Extent of their Cultural Impact on Society,” the fourth session, will be held next Tuesday, with Ehab Ellaban as panelist and Dr. Hanan Al-Hazza as facilitator.

The fifth and final session will take place on Nov. 2 under the title “The Journey of a Saudi Artist Between the Local and International Scenes.” It will feature Dr. Ahmed Mater, Bakr Shaikhoun and Maha Malluh as panelists and Dr. Noura Shuqair as facilitator.

The Art Memento Exhibition showcases artworks and paintings of Saudi artists over the past five decades, documenting the history of the Kingdom’s visual arts for public display.

Saudi artistic development is highlighted in terms of form, subject and ideas, while the exhibition also celebrates the efforts of leading artists and founders, preserves their history and presents their work to a new generation.


US actress Yara Shahidi to guide young filmmakers in new role with Ghetto Film School

Actress Yara Shahidi has been announced as the Ghetto Film School’s Dell XPS International Thesis Advisor. (File/ Getty Images)
Actress Yara Shahidi has been announced as the Ghetto Film School’s Dell XPS International Thesis Advisor. (File/ Getty Images)
Updated 17 October 2021

US actress Yara Shahidi to guide young filmmakers in new role with Ghetto Film School

Actress Yara Shahidi has been announced as the Ghetto Film School’s Dell XPS International Thesis Advisor. (File/ Getty Images)

DUBAI: Actress Yara Shahidi has announced that she is joining hands with the US-based Ghetto Film School as the organization’s new international thesis advisor.

The 21-year-old star of hit TV show “Grown-ish,” who is also a student at Harvard University, will be on hand to guide students who are based in New York, Los Angeles, and London through the educational program.

During the 30-month program, students will research the cinematography and culture of a specific country and will complete a script based on their findings.

Shahidi, whose father is US-Iranian, shared the announcement via a previously recorded video message that was aired during the nonprofit’s fall benefit, which was held in Los Angeles late last week.

“When I think of the impact of Ghetto Film School, I reflect on my own career. Here I sit before you, not only as an actress but as a producer, as a director, an advocate, an entrepreneur and so much more,” she said in a pre-recorded message.

“And the reason why I know all of this is possible is precisely because of one thing, which is opportunity. The opportunities that have been given to me by people within my support network who actively believed in me, who invested in me and were ready to see me to my next step and my next evolution.

“It is surreal at the age of 21 to be able to partake in any work that is seen as helping to (make) this industry more equitable,” she said in a statement reported by People magazine. “I know the stories of our Brown and Black filmmakers are stories that are necessary on screen, and not just from an artistic standpoint, but from a point of being cultural disruptors who are guiding us to new futures.”

The star went on to explain a little bit about her role as the Dell XPS International Thesis Advisor. There will be roughly 30 fellows in each location and Shahidi will be on hand for advice as they write, shoot, and edit their project.

“Being an international thesis advisor basically means that I’m helping in this process, giving my expertise where possible, being of service where possible,” she said, according to Yahoo News.

In April, Shahidi announced she is developing a new television series via her production company, 7th Sun Productions. The part-Middle Eastern star is set to executive produce and develop an on-screen adaptation of Cole Brown’s critically-acclaimed debut book “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World,” alongside her mother and business partner Keri Shahidi and Brown for ABC Signature.


Architect sheds light on Expo 2020 Dubai’s ‘monument to the living’

The monument is located at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Jubilee Park. (Supplied)
The monument is located at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Jubilee Park. (Supplied)
Updated 17 October 2021

Architect sheds light on Expo 2020 Dubai’s ‘monument to the living’

The monument is located at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Jubilee Park. (Supplied)

DUBAI: It took more than 200,000 workers and 240 million hours of combined labor to bring the vast Expo 2020 Dubai site to life.

Now, to express thanks to the workforce, a colonnade of 38 columns has been installed at the site’s Jubilee Park, with individual worker’s names carved in stone.

Reem Al-Hashimi, Expo 2020 Dubai’s director-general, had the idea for the Workers’ Monument and asked London-based architect Asif Khan to design the project.

“It’s such a powerful form of recognition, positive energy and kindness. It’s a very human statement, and a reminder that human beings are at the heart of what has been achieved,” Khan told Arab News.

The monument is located at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Jubilee Park. (Supplied)


 “In general, the people who build all these projects that transform the world and our culture are rarely thanked or, if they are, it’s in an impersonal, general way,” he said.

“What we forget when people are working on projects is that their family and friends are part of the process. They make sacrifices.”

Khan, who also designed the Expo’s massive entry portals, met many of the workers on site during the past five years.

“They are from every corner of the world, especially South Asia, and they all got on together,” he recalled.

However, detailing the tribute was no easy task, with spreadsheets that listed hundreds of names — a challenge that Khan saw as a “fascinating anthropological study.”

Duplicate names, alternative spellings, and names that ranged between one and five words were all honored in the final structure. Each circular, two-meter-high column, made of Omani limestone, is like “a book in a library,” where individual workers can find their name.

“When I first visited the site, it was desert. Through the works of these people — brick by brick, centimeter by centimeter — this site was transformed,” Khan said.

“They are like magicians who changed the state of matter.”

The celebratory Dubai tribute is believed to be the first of its kind, with similar monuments traditionally associated with solemnity and loss.

“It’s a monument to the living. In our research, we found no monument of this scale which names every worker individually,” Khan said. “I hope it’s the beginning of being thankful, globally.”

Expo may last for only six months, but the overall site and Workers’ Monument are here to stay, according to Khan, “making sure that future generations knew who made it.” 

 


Arab Fashion Council names Barbie as its 2021 Fashion Icon

The Arab Fashion Council has named Mattel doll Barbie as the Fashion Icon 2021. (Supplied)
The Arab Fashion Council has named Mattel doll Barbie as the Fashion Icon 2021. (Supplied)
Updated 17 October 2021

Arab Fashion Council names Barbie as its 2021 Fashion Icon

The Arab Fashion Council has named Mattel doll Barbie as the Fashion Icon 2021. (Supplied)

DUBAI: The Arab Fashion Council has named Mattel doll Barbie as the Fashion Icon 2021.

In a tribute to the much-loved doll, designer Jeremy Scott will present fashion label Moschino’s archive collection inspired by Barbie and receive the Council’s Medal of Honor at the Fashion Icon Awards on Oct. 24 in Dubai.

Lebanese superstar Maya Diab, who was named the first Fashion Icon last year during a digital celebration streamed Beirut, will present the trophy to Kim Culmone, Mattel’s senior vice president of global Barbie design.

Accepting the award on Barbie’s behalf, Culmone said: “Barbie has always been more than a toy, she is an international icon deeply connected to culture. With fashion being a critical component of our brand DNA, we are inspired by the fashion community, and at times, Barbie has even been a source of inspiration for the very same talented community. For Barbie to receive the prestigious Fashion Icon Award 2021 from the Arab Fashion Council is a true honor and I look forward to the privilege of witnessing the incredible talent showing during Arab Fashion Week.”

“A Fashion Icon is a role model that inspires ideology, change and setting trends,” Mohammed Aqra, chief strategy officer of the Arab Fashion Council, said. “Barbie is this Icon that has been and still inspiring generations of children to embrace the best of over 200 careers. In reference to Fashion, Barbie is always a main figure that ignites the sense of creativity and love of fashion from the early journey of designers’ career. For over 60 years Barbie has been inspiring designers from around the globe including legacy creative directors. It is time for Barbie to be named the Fashion Icon in tribute to its lifetime achievement.”