Under the slogan “Surprise the Senses,” Effat University is preparing to launch on its Jeddah campus the ninth edition of “The Showreel,” the Effat film festival for students. The aim of the festival, which will run between May 10-12, is to support students and graduates of the first School of Cinematic Arts in the Kingdom, to screen their work to the public, and to celebrate Arab filmmakers.
In Effat University, young talents study filmmaking, animation, screenwriting, and interactive media. The course operated under the name of the Visual and Digital Production Department in 2013, and was then renamed the Cinematic Arts Department.
Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, the president of Effat University, announced at a press conference that the festival would be under the patronage of Princess Lolowah Al-Faisal, vice-chairman of the board of trustees and general supervisor of the university. “The Showreel” will enable the public to watch the most important productions of cinematic arts students, including short fiction and documentary films, animation films, and commercials.
The Effat student film festival acknowledges the necessity of demonstrating the prosperity represented by the success of Saudi Vision 2030. Hence, Saudi women play a key role in the development and empowerment of the country and have an affirmative and positive impact on social, cultural and economic aspects.
Dr. Mohammed Ghazala, chair of Effat School of Cinematic Arts, explained that the event would include a variety of seminars and professional training workshops that are open to both the general public and to students. The workshops will be moderated by renowned film and art industry professionals. The festival will include a workshop on film directing presented by Egyptian director Amr Salama, an actor management workshop presented by Saudi artists Lana Komsany and Summer Shesha, a cinematic sound design and recording workshop presented by Professor John Merchant from Middle Tennessee University (US), a documentary workshop presented by Dr. Jonathan Carr from Arts University Bournemouth (UK), a workshop on production design significance presented by Egyptian artist Marwa Albermawy, and a film criticism workshop presented by Bahraini critic Mansoora Al-Jamri.
The festival will also feature a symposium moderated by critic Ahmed Al-Ayyad, on the industry of film festivals, including the production and distribution platforms, featuring Intishal Al-Tamimi, president of the El-Gouna Film Festival, and Mouhamad Keblawi, president of the Malmo Arab Film Festival.
In addition, the festival will host a discussion on the future of the Saudi animation film industry, in collaboration with Malik Najar, Al-Abbas bin Al-Abbas, Mahmoud Zaini, Abdulaziz Othman and Walaa Sindi.
Another symposium will be conducted by the Egyptian film critic, Ahmed Shawky, on Saudi female filmmakers who have achieved worldwide success. These include Sarah Mesfar, Jawaher Alamri, Norah Almowald, Noor Alameer, Fatma Alhazmi, Ruba Khafagy and Ragheed Al-Nahdi. Guests will be welcome to join the discussion with the “Quareer” film crew, featuring Effat University graduates.
Alongside enriching workshops and discussions, the festival will also present several trophies to the festival’s guests, including the Saudi artist Ibrahim Al-Hasawi, who is hosted by the Jameel Cultural Center, located in Jeddah.