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Indian embassy inaugurates international film festival
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 11 - 2021

The Embassy of India in Riyadh, is hosting the 9th edition of Ambassador's Choice International Film Festival, from November 25-December 07.
The festival is having participation from Saudi Film Association and 9 other Embassies, which include Embassies of Australia, Bangladesh, France, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, Spain, SriLanka & United States of America.
The festival was inaugurated by the Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, along with his counter-parts in the participating Embassies and the Chief guest of the event, Mishal Al Mutairi, Chairman, Saudi Film Association.
The dignitaries unveiled the official poster of the film festival for this year. During his address, the Indian Ambassador Dr. Sayeed thanked the Embassies and Saudi authorities for their collaboration.
He said that the industry is not only a contributor to Indian economy but a cultural bridge as well. "Indian cinema, with its extensive outreach has added to the popularisation of several countries as tourist destinations such as Cyprus, Brazil, Croatia Iceland etc."
"Bollywood functions like film festivals, award shows, cultural carnivals and concerts add to the economies of the countries hosting them," he added.
Referring to Saudi cinema, the Ambassador mentioned that though it is a nascent industry, it has already made a strong presence on the global stage. He underlined that the sector offers enormous potential of growth and is bound to play a significant role in actualisation of Vision 2030 goals.
He also congratulated Abdulaziz Alshlahi, the director of "The Tambour of Retribution" film, which was screened during the inaugural, for nomination of his film for Oscars. He applauded the movie and said it represents the rich content and talent which Saudi film industry has, to offer to the world.
During the inaugural, Abdulaziz Alshlahi also had an interactive session with the audience where he briefed them about his experiences during production of the movie.
The event was also addressed by Deputy Chief of Saudi Film Association Hussam Al Helwa who apprised the audience about Saudi Arabia's budding film industry.
The inauguration of this festival was attended by diplomats, Saudi nationals, journalists, members of Indian community and expatriates of other nationalities. The festival will screen 12 movies, of diverse genres, which include many acclaimed and renowned movies such as Nil Batte Sannata, Hamilton, Nela, Scales, Gurrumul and Mezquite's heart.
The festival comes as part of commemoration of 75 years of India's independence which also coincides with completion of 75 years of Saudi-India diplomatic relations. — SG

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