Arts & Culture

First-ever European Film Festival kicks off activities in Saudi Arabia

Press Release

The first session of the European Film Festival opened in Saudi Arabia, which is scheduled to continue in Riyadh from June 15 to 22.

The festival was launched by the European Union delegation and the Arab Pictures Group for audio-visual media production.

The opening kicked off at Vox Cinema, The Esplanade, in the presence of Patrick Simonet, the European Union ambassador to Saudi Arabia, along with many ambassadors of European countries, such as the ambassadors of France and Italy, French director Gregory Magni, and Cypriot director Marius Piperides, CEO of the Saudi Film Authority, director Abdullah Al-Ayyaf, and some representatives of the authority. , and many Saudi filmmakers.

Part of the opening ceremony

During his opening speech, European Union Ambassador Patrick Simonet said: “Tonight we celebrate the friendship between the European Union and Saudi Arabia, and we are very happy to see the thriving cultural scene in Saudi Arabia and the strong momentum that Vision 2030 brings culture and entertainment to as many Saudi people as possible. And for us in the union. We would like to support this movement and are proud to contribute to it through our activities and initiatives such as Europe Month, which concluded last week, as well as the European Film Festival, which starts today.”

At the festival’s launch ceremony, the CEO of Arabia Pictures Group (APG), Roaa Youssef Al-Madani, said: “I am happy to realize the dream and to hold the first European Film Festival in Riyadh, and we aim in the upcoming sessions to expand to include different sections of films and programs parallel to the festival, and I thank all the supporters Among the filmmakers and media professionals who were honored to attend and participate in this opening, and I thank the European Union delegation for the cooperation and support that was harnessed to us, along with the Saudi Film Authority for its support, in addition to praising our valued partners, especially VOX Cinemas.”

European Film Festival

The festival will receive 14 films from different countries in Europe: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.

The events include 4-panel discussions with leading filmmakers in Europe: a panel discussion with French director Gregory Magni, on Thursday 16 June at 7 pm, with Matti Rockenbauch on the legal aspects of filmmaking on Saturday 18 June at 7 pm, and with the Cypriot writer and director Marius Peperides on the art of co-production on Sunday 19 June at 7 pm, and finally a panel discussion with Alierto Patucci on the birth of green cinema.

The festival aims to facilitate cultural exchange, promote European cinema and strengthen contacts between European and Saudi filmmakers by organizing a side dedicated to events.

Vox Cinema is sponsoring the event along with Alliance française, the Goethe Institute, and the Italian Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The event also benefited from the support of the Saudi Film Authority.

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