The Saudi Film Festival, in its ninth edition, will start from May 4-11, 2023, organized by the Cinema Society and in partnership with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithraa), and with the support of the Film Commission at the Ministry of Culture. 78 films, within 48 screening groups and 4 groups for children, and for the first time in the festival, it will be possible to watch eight films through virtual reality devices designed to create a different cinematic experience.
Noura Al-Zamil, Director of Programs at the Ithra Center, explained that this year’s Saudi Film Festival is a continuation of Ithra’s role in promoting the film industry and supporting its fields, and keenness to develop national talents in line with the Kingdom’s efforts and directions in finding a prominent place for cinema in the fields of acting, directing, scriptwriting and all other aspects. With regard to the film industry, the festival includes a package of various cultural programmes, indicating that the Kingdom is experiencing an active and very promising state in the cinematic movement.
For his part, festival director Ahmed Al-Mulla stated that the extended partnership between the Cinema Society and (Ithraa) Center, which began since the second session that was held in 2015, is only part of the role represented by both sides in empowering filmmakers and cinematic talents and providing all aspects of support to them, praising The role of the Film Authority in continuous support Out of its keenness on the efforts of Saudi filmmakers, and according to Al-Mulla, the festival chose in its ninth session a main axis, which is comedy cinema, as it sheds light on the stream of the effects of surprise and laughter, with aesthetic symbolism and meaningful connotations.
Opening film (Sleeq)
At the same level, the center will receive the festival’s guests during the opening ceremony, next Thursday evening, on the red carpet, up to the Ithra Theatre, where the opening film (Sleeq) by Saudi director Afnan Bauyan will be shown, which is a stop motion animation movie.
The festival also presents over 8 films a set of cultural seminars and training workshops, accompanied by the signing of book releases by their authors, up to the closing ceremony and the announcement of the names of the winners of the ninth session awards, and it seems remarkable that many personalities who left a mark in the history of cinematic art will be honored. The production market will also provide a platform for production companies, producers and filmmakers. To enable competitors’ projects and exchange experiences among them.