Saudi Arabia hosts film night at the Sydney Opera House

Saudi Arabia hosts film night at the Sydney Opera House

Film buffs gathered at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday evening for the inaugural ‘Saudi film night’. The night – a collaboration between the Saudi Film Commission and Australian production company Blacksand Pictures – was created to celebrate Saudi’s fledgling film industry.

With the exclusion of one IMAX theatre, there were no cinemas in Saudi Arabia for the 30 years between 1983 and 2018. The Saudi Film Commission was set up in 2020 to develop and organise the film sector, raise the level of production, market films and to facilitate cultural change.

Guests walk on the red carpet at the event

The audience at the event was treated to screenings of two films: Hajjan by Abu Bakr Shawky, which was presented by producer Majed Samman and actor Ibrahim Alhasawi, and Me & Aydarous directed by Sara Balghonaim and actress Ida Alkusay.

Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Qahtani, CEO of Saudi Film Commission, said: “Saudi Film Nights reflects the Commission’s commitment to promoting the Kingdom’s film culture and highlighting Saudi films on an international stage. We are also fostering collaboration between international film communities, including the Australian film industry, to exchange expertise and knowledge.”

The event was held just a week after Fahd Hamidaddin, the CEO of the new Saudi Tourism Authority, spoke at a packed Forum at the Palais for the start of Cannes Lions, the prestigious week-long creativity festival.

“We are experiencing a transformation which takes Saudi from being oil dependent to becoming a fully diversified hyper-growth economy that sits at the centre of the world – economically, socially and creatively as well,” Hamidaddin said.

In a 30-minute address attended by leading creatives from around the world, he said: “Storytelling is something that Arabia has always cherished, and creativity is the beacon of our future, it’s the beauty of imagination meeting innovation.”

Saudi Tourism Authority makes debut at Cannes Lions with a speech by CEO Fahd Hamidaddin

Back in April, Intrepid Travel launched a solo women’s expedition in Saudi Arabia. The 12-day Saudi Arabia women’s expedition has been designed to offer an authentic and transformative travel experience while empowering women and supporting female-owned businesses in the destination.

The tour will be exclusively led by female leaders and guides, aiming to showcase a different side of the country beyond the luxury resorts and high-end offerings. Starting in Riyadh and  finishing in Jeddah, groups will stay in a female-owned boutique hotel, heritage property, and desert camp, directly supporting a total of nine female-owned and operated businesses

“This looks incredible!!!!” – social media goes WILD over Intrepid’s women’s expedition in Saudi Arabia



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