Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival opens in Riyadh

Saudi film director Abdulaziz Al-Shelahi (2nd from left) with film casts during interactive session with audience at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)
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Saudi film director Abdulaziz Al-Shelahi (2nd from left) with film casts during interactive session with audience at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)
Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival opens in Riyadh
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Official poster of the 9th Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)
Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival opens in Riyadh
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Audience at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival, Embassy of India. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 November 2021

Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival opens in Riyadh

Saudi film director Abdulaziz Al-Shelahi (2nd from left) with film casts during interactive session with audience at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)
  • Applauding the movie, the Indian envoy said it represents the rich content and talent that the Saudi film industry has to offer to the world

RIYADH: The ninth Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival recently opened at the Embassy of India in Riyadh with the screening of Saudi drama “The Tambour of Retribution.”

The film, directed by Abdul Aziz Al-Shelahi, has been nominated as Saudi Arabia’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. It will compete with films from around the world and will pass through several screening stages before the final list is announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The winner will be announced at the Oscars, which will be held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on March 27.




Indian Ambassador Ausaf Sayeed speaking at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)

Chosen by the Saudi Film Commission and nominated by the Saudi Academy Awards Committee as an official entry to the Oscars, “The Tambour of Retribution” has won Best Feature Film at the Saudi Film Festival. It was shown for the first time at the Cairo Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award. It was also shown at the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden and won the Best Director Award.

In his inaugural address, Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed congratulated Al-Shelahi for the film, which was screened on the inaugural day of the film festival, as well as for the nomination of his movie for the Oscars, wishing him all the best.

Applauding the movie, the Indian envoy said it represents the rich content and talent that the Saudi film industry has to offer to the world.




Deputy Chief of Saudi Film Association Hussam Al Helwa speaking at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)

Later, in an interactive session with the audience, Al-Shelahi briefed them about his experiences during the production of the movie and expressed his happiness and pride at representing Saudi Arabia in the Oscar race for the best international film category.

HIGHLIGHT

The Embassy of India is hosting the ninth edition of the Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7 in collaboration with the Saudi Film Association and nine other embassies, which include those of Australia, Bangladesh, France, Germany, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka and the US.

He credited the actors associated with the film for their hard work, praising them for their passion for the craft.

Commenting on “The Tambour of Retribution,” Meshal Al-Mutairi, chairman of the Saudi Film Association and chief guest at the inaugural ceremony, said: “We are very happy for it. It’s a very good movie, one of the best in recent years and the right nominee for the Oscars. It has won awards in Cairo and other international awards, and we hope it will be shortlisted for the Oscar award.”




Diplomats & guests posing for a group photo at 9th Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)

The Embassy of India is hosting the ninth edition of the Ambassador’s Choice International Film Festival from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7 in collaboration with the Saudi Film Association and nine other embassies, which include those of Australia, Bangladesh, France, Germany, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Sri Lanka and the US.

The festival was inaugurated by the Indian ambassador along with his counterparts from other participating embassies and Al-Mutairi.

Sayeed thanked the embassies and Saudi authorities for their collaboration. While talking about Indian cinema, he said that the film industry is not only a contributor to the Indian economy but a cultural bridge between India and the world.




Saudi film director Abdulaziz Al-Shelahi (2nd from left) with film casts during interactive session at Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival. (Supplied)

He said that Saudi Arabia and India have a very strong film connection in Ebrahim Al-Kazi, a renowned drama teacher and founder-director of the prestigious New Delhi-based National School of Drama.

The renowned theater director, often referred to as the “father of Indian theater,” has Saudi roots in his father, Hamad bin Ali Al-Kazi, who was a trader from Unaiza in the Qassim region and who eventually settled in Pune, India.

The envoy added that Indian cinema, due to its extensive outreach, has contributed to the popularization of several countries as tourist destinations, with Bollywood functions like film festivals, award shows, cultural carnivals and concerts enriching the economies of the countries hosting them.

Referring to Saudi cinema, the ambassador mentioned that although it is a nascent industry, it has already established a strong presence on the global stage.

He underlined that the sector offers enormous potential for growth and is bound to play a significant role in the actualization of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals.

The inauguration of the festival was attended by diplomats, Saudi nationals, journalists, members of the Indian community and other expatriates.

The festival will screen 12 movies of diverse genres, which include many acclaimed movies such as Indian film “Nil Batte Sannata,” American film “Hamilton,” Sri Lankan film “Nela,” Saudi film “Scales,” Australian film “Gurrumul” and Mexican film “Mezquite’s Heart.”


Empowerment of women in Saudi museums sector in spotlight at open discussion forum

Empowerment of women in Saudi museums sector in spotlight at open discussion forum
Updated 27 January 2022

Empowerment of women in Saudi museums sector in spotlight at open discussion forum

Empowerment of women in Saudi museums sector in spotlight at open discussion forum
  • The event, hosted by the Kingdom’s Museum Commission, explored ways in which the role of women could be enhanced in the sector

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Museum Commission hosted an open discussion on Wednesday about the empowerment women in the museums sector.

The event, at the National Museum in Riyadh, was moderated by Maha bint Amer Al-Shukhil, a faculty member at Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, and the participants included Stefano Carboni, the CEO of the commission.

The topics addressed during the discussion included the roles and work of Saudi women, creating change in the Museums Commission, and the need to develop job opportunities for women in the museums field.

Participants also discussed how to foster cooperation between universities and the Museums Commission, the role and importance of museums in society, encouraging and highlighting efforts by women in the field, providing training and volunteering opportunities in the commission, and giving women more opportunities to work in the museums sector.

Carboni said that the objectives of the commission include providing advisory services, providing specialized courses and programs on museum management, offering opportunities to learn about specialized establishments in the sector, and working to develop communication skills between museums and visitors.

On the sidelines of the session, Hind Al-Turki, the head of the history department at Princess Nourah University, spoke about the necessity of offering field-training opportunities for female students specializing in the museums sector, to improve their knowledge and provide practical experience, and to present programs and workshops.

The commission said that the session was part of its efforts to communicate with the public and promote dialogue with workers in the sector to identify their needs and aspirations, and work to achieve them, based on the authority’s responsibility for developing and enhancing the museums sector in the Kingdom, and supporting and empowering its employees.
 


KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen

KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen
Updated 27 January 2022

KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen

KSrelief, UNICEF sign agreement to provide basic health services for mothers and children in Yemen

RIYADH: The Saudi-based King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center signed a cooperation agreement with UNICEF to provide basic health services for mothers and newborns, according to the humanitarian response plan for Yemen, with a value of $10 million.
KSrelief supervisor general Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore signed the agreement, Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The agreement stipulates providing free basic health services for obstetrics and gynaecology emergency and care services, increasing the preparedness of the Yemeni health sector with medical equipment for newborns, localizing the sustainability of providing health services for mothers and children, and training 156 midwives for emergency cases to obstetric care and emergency care for newborns. The agreement is expected to benefit 43,533 individuals in several Yemeni governorates.
It is part of the humanitarian and aid projects implemented by Saudi Arabia, through KSrelief, in partnership with UNICEF to develop the Yemeni health sector and increase care services offered to children and mothers in all Yemeni governorates.

 


DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day

DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day
Updated 27 January 2022

DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day

DiplomaticQuarter: Indian Embassy in Riyadh celebrates 73rd Republic Day

RIYADH: The Embassy of India in Riyadh celebrated the 73rd Republic Day with great fervor to honor the historic date of Jan. 26, 1950, when India’s constitution came into effect and the country became a republic.

The celebration began in the morning with a flag-hoisting ceremony on the embassy premises, where Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed unfurled the national flag of India.

Sayeed extended greetings to all the attendees at the function and to all Indians residing in Saudi Arabia.

“On this joyous occasion of the 73rd Republic Day of India, I would like to extend my warm greetings and felicitations to all Indian nationals, persons of Indian origin, and friends of India in the Kingdom,” envoy tweeted.

He also talked of the growing ties of India and Saudi Arabia. He said that since independence, India’s relationship with the Kingdom has evolved into a multifaceted and mutually beneficial strategic partnership encompassing several key areas, including defense and security cooperation, investment, healthcare, technology, energy and food security.

The envoy also read out the message of the President of India, Ramnath Kovind, on the occasion, which read: “My heartiest greetings to all of you, in India and abroad, on the 73rd Republic Day! It is an occasion to celebrate what is common to us all, our Indian-ness. It was on this day in 1950 that this sacred essence of us all assumed a formal shape. That day, India was established as the largest democratic republic and ‘we the people’ put into effect a constitution that is an inspired document of our collective vision. It is this spirit of unity and of being one nation which is celebrated every year as Republic Day.”

This was followed by cultural performances given by the students of Indian schools in Riyadh.

The event was attended by members of the Indian community based in the Kingdom.

The celebration holds greater significance for Indians across the world as India is celebrating its 75th year of independence. India gained its independence on Aug. 15, 1947. This celebration also coincides with 75 years of diplomatic relations between India and Saudi Arabia.


King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub

King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub
Updated 27 January 2022

King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub

King Salman appoints new board to help SAIP become regional IP hub

RIYADH: King Salman has appointed several executives and government vice ministers to the board of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property to help it become a globally recognized IP hub for the Middle East and North Africa.

The appointments include Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil, deputy minister of industry and mineral resources; Haitham Abdulrahman Al-Ohali, vice minister of communications and information technology; Hamed bin Mohammed Fayez, deputy minister of culture; Deemah bint Yahya Al-Yahya, secretary-general of the Digital Cooperation Organization; and Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Samari, CEO of the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority.

Board Chairman Mohammed bin Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh and CEO Abdulaziz Al-Suwailem expressed their gratitude and appreciation to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support.

They also wished success to the board members as the authority seeks to establish itself as a focal point for intellectual property in the MENA region by the time the Saudi Vision 2030 is wholly implemented.

Al-Sheikh is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Saudi Arabia’s representative to the World Bank in Washington. In 2013 he was appointed chairman of the Saudi Capital Market Authority and two years later named as a state minister.

HIGHLIGHT

The main tasks of SAIP include developing a national IP strategy, proposing and developing relevant regulations and laws, and registering, granting and protecting IP rights. It also raises awareness of intellectual property, provides information to the public, represents Saudi Arabia at international and regional IP organizations, grants licenses for IP activities, and comments on relevant international agreements.

Al-Suwailem, who has served as an adviser to the World Intellectual Property Organization and UNESCO, is experienced in IP rights at the local and international level. He is also a former vice president of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The main tasks of SAIP include developing a national IP strategy, proposing and developing relevant regulations and laws, and registering, granting and protecting IP rights. It also raises awareness of intellectual property, provides information to the public, represents Saudi Arabia at international and regional IP organizations, grants licenses for IP activities, and comments on relevant international agreements.

Recently, SAIP signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean Intellectual Property Office, in the presence of the Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the Saudi-Korean Investment Forum in Riyadh.

The agreement enhances the strategic partnership between South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and will involve the secondment of Korean IP experts to Riyadh.

SAIP spokesman Yasser Hakami told Arab News that the MoU laid out the framework, projects, timeline and procedures for the cooperative activities.


King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity
Updated 27 January 2022

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity

King Salman Royal Reserve unveils digital identity
  • Campaign aims to boost awareness, outreach ahead of Vision 2030 goal

RIYADH: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve, the largest reserve in the Middle East and North Africa, unveiled its digital identity on its website and Twitter account to foster awareness and boost its outreach.

The campaign showcased the vision, mission and goals of the reserve, along with more than 235 plant species, such as tamarisk, calligonum and common poppy.

Besides historical treasures dating back more than 12,000 years from the ancient period to the Islamic age, the sites of Jubbah and Kalwa within KSRNR are full of old stories and legends, which the KSRNR hopes to preserve.

The reserve is characterized by its enormous size, and serves as a resting site for migrating birds.

The new digital campaign pointed to the future vision for KSRNR, as well as its ecotourism and recreational goals in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

Spelling out the plans, a senior official at the reserve said that the KSRNR “seeks to reintroduce species, resettle wildlife, restore natural wealth, increase vegetation cover, maintain cultural heritage and provide job opportunities for the local community.”

As part of the digital reveal, Abdullah bin Qadhan, director of partnerships and external communication at KSRNR, discussed the reserve’s strategic objectives and its latest initiative to develop vegetation cover.

HIGHLIGHT

Established in 2018, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve is spread across 130,700 square kilometers of land, stretching toward the Northern Borders region. It incorporates three existing natural reserves: Harrat Al-Harrah Conservation, Al-Tubaiq Natural Reserve and Al-Khanfah Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Qadhan shared details of the ‘We Spread It for a Green Tomorrow’ campaign in the Tabuk region, in which drones were used,” the reserve tweeted.

“There is an activation of the career opportunities in the region by employing young Saudi cadres, and we are working with universities to qualify final year students. There are training programs that end with employment for them,” Qadhan said.

“We signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Investment to develop feasibility studies for attractions and market them to local and international investors,” he added.

“Our goal is to be a distinguished tourist destination in the Arabian Peninsula, and we seek to enable the private sector to invest in the natural reserve.”

KSRNR was established in 2018 as a result of a royal decree to create a Council of Royal Reserves, which is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The reserve is spread across 130,700 square kilometers of land, stretching toward the Northern Borders region. It incorporates three existing natural reserves: Harrat Al-Harrah Conservation, Al-Tubaiq Natural Reserve and Al-Khanfah Wildlife Sanctuary.