Quality of Life Program: National Cultural Awards culminates support to Saudi culture, intellectuals    KSrelief Supports Early Recovery and Livelihoods Sector as Part of Saudi Arabia's Grant to Support Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2020    KSrelief Continues Distributing Ramadan Food Baskets in Lebanon    King, Crown Prince condoles Turkmen president on death of his father    Presidency to increase capacity of Mataf Courtyard, allocating 4 paths for elderly    India Reports New High of 1,761 Daily COVID-19 Deaths    Russia reports 8,164 new COVID-19 cases, 379 deaths    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Directs Disbursement of SR 1.9 Billion of Ramadan Aid for Social Insurance Beneficiaries    China administered total of 195.02 mln COVID-19 vaccines as of April 19    Prince Khalid meets with UK PM's envoy to Gulf region    10 million people in UK receive second dose of COVID-19 vaccine    Video clip showing expats being assaulted is old: Riyadh Police    US immigration agencies ordered to end use of terms 'alien' and 'assimilation'    US warns against travel to 80% of all countries due to COVID-19 State Department 'strongly recommends' US citizens reconsider any travel aborad    Chairman of Libyan Presidential Council Meets with Algerian Foreign Minister    In Jeel Tamooh's third edition, BCG experts, 100 world-class Saudi students come together    UAE government adopts 'blockchain' technology in authentication services    KSrelief signs two joint agreements to serve needy people in Yemen    Jadwa Investment partners with MHRSD to develop non-profit sector    Oilfields Supply Center's $570m investment in SPARK    SRC Obtains Good Ratings From Moody's, Fitch    National Center for Privatization Hosts Chinese Investors Forum    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index Ends Trading Higher at 10,097 Points    Saudi Al-Hilal Defeats UAE Shabab Al-Ahli witn AFC Champions League    Saudi Al-Ahli, Qatari Al-Duhail Drew 1-1    Messi fires Barca to dominant Cup final win    Bayern moves closer to title but Flick says he's leaving    IRTI Report Showcases Sustainable Development Goals for IsDB Member States    Bayern move closer to title but Flick says he's leaving    The importance of legal specialization    Indian actor and environmentalist Vivek dies at age of 59    Alert over shortage of new drugs for 'world's most dangerous bacteria'    Helen McCrory, 'Harry Potter' and 'Peaky Blinders' star, dead at 52    New global compact aims to drive down diabetes deaths, boost insulin access    Welcome to beautiful Ramadan customs    Foundation stone laid for Jeddah Formula One circuit    Laying the Foundation Stone for Jeddah Formula One Circuit    King Salman Center for Disability Research Launches 2nd Edition of its Story Collection (Awareness)    Riyadh Light Witnesses Conclusion of External Artworks    Riyadh Light Turned the Capital into Lights' Aura    Colored Triangles Decorate Conference Building, at King Abdullah Financial Center    Vaccination does not invalidate fasting, says UAE Fatwa Council    It is high time to correct wrong concepts about women's status    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Court facilitates young woman's marriage after stripping father's guardianship    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    Senior Scholars Council Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Prayers at Mosques in a Case of Spread of Epidemic or Fear of its Spread    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

A Saudi film industry
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 10 - 04 - 2009

THE recent announcements regarding the upcoming Jeddah Film Festival, the kick-off two nights ago of the European Film Festival and the recently completed Asian Film Festival are encouraging signs, following the enormous success of the Saudi comedy, Menahi, that the seeds of a domestic film movement have been planted. The fact that a number of films have been made in Saudi Arabia – ranging from professional documentaries to do-it-yourself projects produced by groups of friends – means that the seeds have germinated and now must be nurtured carefully and intelligently.
There is nothing close to a film industry in Saudi Arabia and despite all the rosy talk about an “emerging industry” in the UAE and elsewhere, there is no real film industry in any Arab country. Films are made but they are so few that nowhere is there a national cinema nor an industry. Only when there is a functioning production sector, a functioning distribution sector and a functioning exhibition sector can the concept of a film industry be seriously considered.
Nevertheless, filmmakers or aspiring filmmakers in Saudi Arabia are at an awe-inspiring juncture of the process. The massive exposure to the creativity and seemingly unlimited financial resources of Hollywood via satellite TV certainly spurs thoughts of creating similar products domestically. But anyone who attended the Asian Film Festival or the European Film Festival has realized that intriguing and meaningful stories are not dependent on massive sums of money, massive explosions and lots of CGI.
The task faced by the Saudi creative community is how to translate the Saudi experience onto film or video, as the case may be. It is one thing to learn how to tell stories on film by watching the products of cultures that have been at it for a long time. That is both inevitable and invaluable. But local audiences and then the rest of the world will only take note of films made in Saudi Arabia by Saudis if the stories they tell are Saudi.
Influence and imitation are two different aspects of filmmaking and the latter is usually a sign of weakness. The technical skills of both Western and Asian cinema are something to emulate but their stories are their stories and are interesting to us because there are some human traits and concerns that transcend cultures. The same can be true of films made by Saudis, as well, as long as Saudi filmmakers have found their own voice and are using it to tell their own stories, be they in the form of comedy, drama or any other genre. __

Clic here to read the story from its source.