Saudi Film Commission takes part in Malmo Arab Film Festival 2022

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Updated 08 May 2022
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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, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi, Kosovo officials discuss parliamentary ties

RIYADH: The Saudi-Kosovo Parliamentary Friendship Committee, led by Khalid Al-Bawardi, the committee’s chairman and Saudi Shoura Council member, met with Kosovo’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kreshnik Ahmeti and other officials in Pristina.

Discussions aimed to boost bilateral relations and parliamentary cooperation between the Shoura Council and Kosovo Parliament, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

Faisal Hifzi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Albania and non-resident ambassador to Kosovo, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, attended the meeting.

Additionally, the committee met with Podujeva’s Mayor Shpejtim Bulliqi and discussed cooperation in municipal affairs. The mayor praised Saudi Arabia’s environmental conservation efforts.

The Shoura Council delegation also engaged with local companies, reviewing Kosovo’s future projects and discussing opportunities for economic cooperation.


Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi authorities arrest 17,030 illegals in one week

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 17,030 people in one week for breaching residency, work and border security regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

According to an official report, a total of 10,662 people were arrested for violations of residency laws, while 4,147 were held over illegal border crossing attempts, and a further 2,221 for labor-related issues.

The report showed that among the 1,119 people arrested for trying to enter the Kingdom illegally, 71 percent were Ethiopian, 27 percent Yemeni, and 2 percent were of other nationalities.

A further 65 people were caught trying to cross into neighboring countries, and 17 were held for involvement in transporting and harboring violators.

The Saudi Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to be facilitating illegal entry to the Kingdom, including providing transportation and shelter, could face imprisonment for a maximum of 15 years, a fine of up to SR1 million ($260,000), as well as confiscation of vehicles and property.

Suspected violations can be reported on the toll-free number 911 in the Makkah and Riyadh regions, and 999 or 996 in other regions of the Kingdom.


KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

Updated 25 May 2024
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KSrelief continues aid projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief  continued its humanitarian projects in Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon and Yemen.
In Sudan, the agency distributed 950 personal hygiene kits to displaced and needy families in Kosti, benefiting 5,463 individuals. In Wad Sharifi, 330 food parcels were provided to displaced families, benefiting 1,710 individuals. 
Meanwhile in Lebanon, KSrelief continued its implementation of the Al-Amal Charitable Bakery Project in Akkar and Miniyeh. The project distributed 150,000 loaves of bread daily to Syrian and Palestinian refugee families, or about 62,500 individuals.
In Yemen, 897 food parcels were delivered in Al-Abr, benefiting 6,237 individuals, as part of the Kingdom’s humanitarian initiative.
in Somalia, KSrelief continued providing medical services in collaboration with the Kidney Dialysis Center at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu. The center catered to a total of 384 patients and assisted dialysis, medical examination and emergency sessions.


12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

Updated 25 May 2024
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12 arrested in qat smuggling attempt in Saudi Arabia

  • A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan Region

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 12 Yemeni nationals for attempting to smuggle 266kg of qat through the borders of Asir region, state news agency SPA reported.
The items were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, SPA said on Friday.
A separate smuggling attempt of 70kg of qat was thwarted in Jazan region. Border authorities said the suspects were arrested and the seized items were transferred to relevant authorities for further action.

Mostly chewed by users, Qat is a mild stimulant and illegal across most of the Arab world.

The government has urged citizens and residents to report any information they have regarding drug smuggling or sales to the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. Reports can be made by calling 911 for Makkah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province, and 999 for other regions. Alternatively, information can be emailed to [email protected]. All reports are treated confidentially.

 


Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

Updated 25 May 2024
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Saudi foreign minister meets French counterpart, discusses bilateral relations and situation in Gaza

PARIS: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah met on Friday with French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Stephane Sejourne in Paris.

The two ministers discussed Saudi-French relations and ways to enhance them as well as improve coordination on various issues of mutual concern.

The two officials also discussed the current situation in Gaza and its surroundings and the need to deliver humanitarian assistance to the civilians in the enclave.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to France Fahd bin Mayouf Al-Ruwaili, Foreign Minister’s Office Director General Abdulrahman Al-Dawood and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Advisor Dr. Manal Radwan.