The Saudi Film Festival Returns to Ithra. What can you expect?

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The annual festival features films from the wider GCC for the very first time at Ithra. The festival is taking place from June 2 to 9.

The annual festival features films from the wider GCC for the very first time at Ithra. The festival is taking place from June 2 to 9.

Spanning through eight days, the 8th edition of the Saudi Film Festival starts today. It takes place at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) in Dhahran.

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The event is to celebrate Gulf filmmakers, focusing on developing and supporting content and talent.

The annual fest features 80 films from the wider GCC this year. The fest has first-time entries from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates and submissions from Saudi Arabia.

Out of those, 36 films are participating in this competition. Along with the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) competition (the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival), films are also going to be screened in two other categories – Gulf and Saudi Films.

The festival will be starting with the film “Ali Saeed’s Old Phone Number.” This is an Ithra co-produced short film recently presented at the Cannes Film Festival Market’s Short Film Corner.

The festival will be honoring Khalil Al-Rawaf, the first Saudi filmmaker to become a Hollywood actor. It will also honor Khalid Al-Siddiq, a pioneering Kuwaiti producer, director, and screenwriter.

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This edition of the Saudi Film Festival is expected to be attended by filmmakers and other film professionals, including scriptwriters, producers, actors, programmers, investors, and film lovers.

Through the theme of “poetic cinema,” the event will be hosting a series of programs to showcase, elevate and promote the region’s film industry.

Arab, local, and international experts will present master classes, seminars, and workshops. These will be on a range of topics like writing, directing, cinematography, music, production, funding, and marketing.

These experts include James Savoca, Habib Attia, Hossam Elouan, and Matti Rockenbauch.

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