Arts & Culture

Saudi Arabia’s Film wins the short film jury prize for international fiction in Sundance

‘Dunya’s Day’ won the short film jury prize for international fiction in Sundance, it was the first time Saudi Arabia had appeared at the festival, a delegation of 13 young Saudi filmmakers has descended on the German capital, eight of whom with short films being represented at the European Film Market by the Arab Cinema Center.
In Berlin, there are signs — for the Saudi film scene at least — that the Kingdom is ready to return to promoting its nascent film industry.

According to the ACC’s co-founder Alaa Karkouti “Obviously there is still activity [in Saudi Arabia], but now maybe without the super huge exposure,” pointing to the flurry of news that came out around Cannes, where the newly-launched Saudi Film Council used its high-profile festival debut to unveil a tasty incentives package aimed at luring foreign productions, while also announcing the first project to receive investment from its film fund, Haifaa Al Mansour’s The Perfect Candidate.

While initial expectations on the speed of cinema openings in the Saudi Kingdom may have been slightly exaggerated, during the Berlinale Vox Cinemas, the Middle East’s biggest chain, revealed it is on track to have 110 screens in the country by the end of 2019, with its first Saudi multiplex in Riyadh having enjoyed a 95 percent occupancy rate since opening in April.

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