Saudi Film Commission takes part in Malmo Arab Film Festival 2022

Saudi Film Commission takes part in Malmo Arab Film Festival 2022
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Updated 08 May 2022

Saudi Film Commission takes part in Malmo Arab Film Festival 2022

Saudi Film Commission takes part in Malmo Arab Film Festival 2022

RIYADH: Saudi filmmakers are taking part in the Malmo Arab Film Festival 2022 through 16 films, hoping to present a positive image of the development of the Kingdom’s film industry.
The event, which began on Wednesday and runs until May 9 in the Swedish city, invited Saudi Arabia as a guest of honor. As a result, Saudi films will receive special screenings and seminars will be held to showcase the development of Saudi cinema.

Saudi filmmakers will present feature films in the competition, in addition to screenings of other formats.
The Saudi films entering the competition are “Junnah” by directors Maan Abdul Rahman and Yasser Abdul Rahman in the feature film competition category; “Phone Kharban” by directors Raghad Al-Barqi, “Diyar Hisma” by Fahd Fayez, “a” by directors Noura Al-Mawlid, Ragheed Al-Nahdi and Ruba Khafajiin the short film competition category; and a film by Nour Al-Amir and Fatima Al-Hazmi in the “Arabian Nights” category.
The festival will screen five feature Saudi films: “Forty Years and One Nights” by Mohammed Al-Halil, “The Tambour of Retribution” by Abdulaziz Al-Shalahi, “The Journey” by Kibon Shizuno (a Saudi-Japanese co-production), “Shams Almaarif” by Faris Quds, “The 10th Way” by Omar Naim, in addition to seven short films: “Umm Al-Saaf and Al-Lif” by Hala Al-Haid (a Saudi-US co-production), “Hawas” by Khaled Zeidan, “Zawal” by Mujtaba Saeed (a Saudi production, with German-French contribution), “Saaf” by Wijdan Al-Marzouq, “Shams 89” by Mansour Al-Badran, “The Little Bird” by Khaled Fahd and “Noor Shams” by Fayza Amba.

The participation at the festival is in line with the Saudi film industry’s plan to promote itself on global platforms and build partnerships that build the sector, said Abdullah Al-Eyaf, CEO of the Saudi Film Commission.
He added that international film festivals represent a space to highlight Saudi talents and attract global talent in the field of filmmaking, especially after the remarkable shift in the industrial environment in the Kingdom through a government system that supports and stimulates the industry.
Al-Eyaf said that prominent partnerships from the private sector and the Kingdom’s great geographical diversity have also enabled the transformation.
Mansour Al-Badran, director of “Shams 89,” said: “I am very happy with the film’s participation in the festival. I think that the national achievement that was made in the film deserves to be watched and celebrated, on a local and international level.”

He told Arab News that the Saudi Film Commission has made great efforts to enable national talents to take part in the Malmo event, expressing confidence that the commission’s support will continue in other international forums to celebrate Saudi cinematic creativity.
The Saudi presence at the Malmo Festival was “honorable,” Al-Badran said, adding that the selection of the films that qualified to participate was “objectively decided.”
He said: “I think that Saudi cinema is up and coming, and the Saudi films participating in the current festival are a good proof of that ... I think we are on the right track.”
The guest of honor program includes a symposium to introduce the Saudi Film Commission and its initiatives, and to showcase the Talents Bridge intensive training program. The event will conclude with a Saudi artistic night, in which a Saudi musical orchestra will perform.

The Malmo event is the largest Arab film festival in Europe. Since its establishment in 2011, it has received growing public interest due to its location in Sweden. Malmo is home to a diverse range of cultures, and the festival aims to build bridges between people based on film as a universal visual language.
Cinemas in Saudi Arabia have made great achievements over the past four years, with box office sales exceeding 30.8 million tickets, the Saudi Press Agency recently reported.
Since its launch in April 2018, the Saudi Film Commission has licensed 56 theaters with 518 screens in 20 cities, in which 1,144 films were shown, including 22 Saudi films. The number of ticket sales amounted to 30,860,956 for films in 22 languages from 38 countries.

The cinema sector also employs 4,439 young Saudi men and women as part of efforts to increase the size of the media market, provide a favorable environment to diversify economic sources of income and create thousands of jobs for Saudi youth.
Using media as a strategic tributary of the national economy also comes in line with Vision 2030, the SPA said.
“This demonstrates growth that was achieved in four years, indicating that the cinema sector is an attractive element for local and international investors, in light of the initiatives and projects offered by the commission that enable beneficiaries to easily engage in media activities of all kinds,” it added.


Saudi crown prince leaves for the UAE to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa

Saudi crown prince leaves for the UAE to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa
Updated 41 min 27 sec ago

Saudi crown prince leaves for the UAE to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa

Saudi crown prince leaves for the UAE to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa

RIYADH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman departed the Kingdom for the UAE on Monday to offer condolences on the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

The visit comes under the direction of King Salman.

Sheikh Khalifa died at the age of 73, Emirates News Agency reported on Friday.


Saudi FM meets Thai counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi FM meets Thai counterpart in Riyadh
Updated 16 May 2022

Saudi FM meets Thai counterpart in Riyadh

Saudi FM meets Thai counterpart in Riyadh
  • The two ministers also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai in Riyadh on Monday.

During the meeting, the two officials reviewed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to enhance, develop, and advance them in various fields.

They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest.

Ties between the Kingdom and Thailand were renewed in January, following Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s visit to Riyadh on the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The visit was the first top leadership meeting between the countries in more than three decades after relations were downgraded in the 1980s.


Saudi surgeons separate Yemeni twins after complicated 15-hour operation

Saudi surgeons separate Yemeni twins after complicated 15-hour operation
Updated 16 min 13 sec ago

Saudi surgeons separate Yemeni twins after complicated 15-hour operation

Saudi surgeons separate Yemeni twins after complicated 15-hour operation
  • KSRelief statement: Acting upon a directive from King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s specialist surgeons have succeeded in separating the Yemeni twins Yousef and Yassin
  • The twins were conjoined in several organs and 24 doctors were involved in the procedure to separate them

RIYADH: A team of specialist surgeons in Saudi Arabia have successfully separated Yemeni conjoined twins Yousef and Yassin after a “complicated” non-stop surgery that lasted 15-hours.

“In implementation of directives of King Salman, Saudi Arabia’s specialist surgeons have once again succeeded to separate the Yemeni twins Yousef and Yassin, sons of Mohammed Abdulrahman, during a complicated non-stop 15-hour long operation in which 24 doctors specialized in pediatric neurosurgery, plastic surgery, anesthesia, and nursing led by Dr. Mutasem Al-Zughaibi took part in the operation,” said the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) in a statement to Arab News.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, supervisor general of KSRelief and head of the medical and surgical team for separation operations, said that the four-phase surgery is among the most complicated. The twins were conjoined in several organs and 24 doctors were involved in the procedure to separate them.

Dr Nazar Al-Zughaibi, head of pediatric anesthesia at the King Abdullah Specialized Children’s Hospital (KASCH) at the National Guard Health Affairs in Riyadh, where the conjoined separation was completed, told Arab News: “This was a complex operation due to the twin sharing in the sinuses, cerebral venous and parts of the brain.”

Al-Zughaibi added: “The operation was carried out in several stages: Anesthesia, navigation planning, preparing for surgery, skincare, and preparation for brain tissues, bone and reconstruction by plastic surgery.”

“The condition of the separated twins is subject to strict care and control, that’s why they are in the ICU being monitored regularly,” the doctor told Arab News.

He added that after the separation, Yousef was stable, but Yassin is still in a critical condition because of significant blood loss.

Al-Zughaibi pointed out that the operation was complicated as the twins faced some difficulties due to increased bleeding as a result of adhesions, which were dealt with by the team. After the operation, the twins were transferred to the intensive care department.

“They still need regular observation, so they will be in the ICU for a few days, followed by reconstruction planning later that takes some time,” he added.

He said that the twins previously had two operations, one last October and the other in February, to separate the cerebral veins and brain adhesions and to put skin equipment to help cover wounds after the separation.

Earlier, Al-Rabeeah, on behalf of the team, extended appreciation and gratitude to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the initiative.

He also extended thanks to his fellow medical and surgical team members for their great efforts.

The parents of the twins thanked King Salman, wishing him health and happiness.

Last July, Saudi doctors separated a Yemeni baby from her parasitic twin, which was their 50th successful operation on conjoined twins.

Last week, King Salman ordered that another set of Yemeni conjoined twins, girls named Mawaddah and Rahmah, will be transferred to Riyadh “to conduct medical examinations and check on the possibility” of separation.


King Salman leaves hospital after medical examinations

King Salman leaves hospital after medical examinations
Updated 15 May 2022

King Salman leaves hospital after medical examinations

King Salman leaves hospital after medical examinations
  • King Salman thanked well-wishers within Saudi Arabia and from friendly countries

JEDDAH: King Salman left King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah on Sunday evening after undergoing medical examinations and successfully completing the treatment plan and recovery period.

Saudi Press Agency reported the king thanked well-wishers within Saudi Arabia and from friendly countries for their messages of support.


Dutch artist Satori headlines Desert Sound event in Riyadh

DJ NarkBeat engaged the crowd with his notable performance at Desert Sounds'
DJ NarkBeat engaged the crowd with his notable performance at Desert Sounds' "Mars Escape" on Friday. (AN photo/Basheer Saleh)
Updated 16 May 2022

Dutch artist Satori headlines Desert Sound event in Riyadh

DJ NarkBeat engaged the crowd with his notable performance at Desert Sounds' "Mars Escape" on Friday. (AN photo/Basheer Saleh)
  • New wave of events featuring international lineup of artists and diverse activities catering to music lovers, weekend family entertainment in Riyadh

RIYADH: On Friday, a vibrant series of electronic house music bounced off the hills of the Riyadh desert at the NOX Camp Desert Resort, bringing together music, art and desert-sport lovers alike in a one-of-a-kind event.

The exclusive music and art event organizer, Desert Sound Entertainment, presented their premiere “Mars Escape” experience to the Saudi community, transporting about 1,000 attendees to another dimension made distinct by live art, festival makeup and fire performances.

The moon shone, setting up the atmosphere for the celestial night, the music ascended. Headlined by Satori, the international DJ lineup included the likes of Alaa Jazaery, Rafa, NarkBeat, and a surprise performance by local DJ Ibbie.

One. of. the Mars. Escape attendees enjoyed one of the many games and activities 'Mars Escape' had to offer. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)

The 10-hour festival saw a distinctive blend of artists taking to the main stage. Rafa gave the crowd a sensual and authentically earthy organic house experience while NarkBeat’s performance left the crowd in anticipation with sultry Arabian oud sounds. Alaa Jazaeri, founder of a similar music festival titled “Narratives,” slowed down the groove with an organic and soulful house music set, taking festival-goers on a mini-journey.

The diverse music echoing the valley of the desert culminated with Satori, a world-famous Dutch producer whose music focuses on spirituality and enlightenment. His set took off promptly at midnight and closed the event. His stop at Riyadh is part of his world tour this month with upcoming shows in Moscow, Stockholm and London.

HIGHLIGHT

Rafa gave the crowd a sensual and authentically earthy organic house experience while NarkBeat’s performance left the crowd in anticipation with sultry Arabian oud sounds.

“I would not imagine from this side of the world that people would know me and connect with the music in this way, so it was really a big pleasure. I’ve been playing in this region of course already for a few years, if we speak about Dubai or Egypt, I played in Oman and Lebanon, but never in Saudi,” Satori said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

Satori’s mellow sounds, crafted under the influence of the Japanese term “Satori,” cannot be narrowed down to a single genre, but rather a feeling. His music combines elements of self-exploration, earthy melodies, psychedelic tones and vivid energy. The crescendo of the piano, synthetic electronic beats and kalimba prompted a series of cheers as people danced. Almost every listener was rhythmically entranced, surrendering to the sound.

AN photo by Basheer Saleh

“For me it feels like I’m part of innovation. There’s something progressing and just to be part of that is really a great honor. It feels like we’re writing history and I’m kind of part of that chapter,” he said of his recent performance. “In the end, music is a universal language, people would connect to that or understand that even if they’re not used to these types of events. People will feel it.”

While primarily centered around the musical performances, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority-certified event also included an array of cultural activities such as art installations, graffiti sites and street art, virtual reality booths, games, and live catering. “We wanted to complete the music experience as a whole, connecting with nature and expressing through art and feeling with music,” assistant manager, Reema Al-Saud, told Arab News.

Event-goers were ready to indulge in the cultural aspect of the experience. “This is my first experience, and it gives a nice vibe,” said attendee Bha’a Mahdi. “I didn’t like that there wasn’t a big crowd. The place is very, very gorgeous. Incredible. It’s unreal. I liked the music, but was hoping the music would have more drops and highs. I felt united with the desert, I even removed my shoes,” he said.

Other members of the audience had similar comments. “The location is good, the vibe is nice. Just one thing: I wish there were more people,” said one attendee.

“The ground traps you. The sand doesn’t give you way to dance or walk,” said another attendee.

This international lineup and diverse activities come after a new wave of events that cater to those music-lovers, the latest being Freaks of Nature, bringing new meaning to weekend family entertainment ventures in Riyadh.