(MENAFN- Asdaf News) Jeddah - Asdaf News:
the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra) stood out at one of the biggest festivals in the area; The Red"Sea Film Festival, that hosts a sea of filmmakers, producers, industry insiders, and ardent moviegoers and takes place in Jeddah from November 30 to December 9.
That’s all thanks to a compelling presence in the Festival’s souk and the promotion of three Ithra independent film productions produced that turned heads and captured hearts of film fans, critics and media. Ithra supports the advancement of the Kingdom’s film industry, both in front of and behind the camera, by producing top-flight original cinematic content and propelling it across the international stage.
Headlining Ithra’s showcase at the festival was the regional premiere of Hajjan, as part of the "Arabian Masterpieces" section of the festival program. Produced by Ithra in cooperation with the Film Clinic, Hajjan is an Arabic language feature film that tells the coming-of-age story of a young orphan boy and his camel who together race to overcome adversity and form a special and lasting bond.
The film was an immediate smash hit with fans and critics at the festival with two sold-out screenings and substantive media coverage\u2026the first to 1,200 film fans in the grand hall of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Jeddah followed by another capacity crowd at Jeddah’s Fox Cinema Hall. "Hajjan" also received high praise from film critics in attendance who considered it a significant work that signals a new shift in the Saudi film industry.
The second International Film Production (IFP) offering that was featured as part of the "New Saudi Cinema" program, was Indie short film Hadi Aleis which featured earlier this year at the Sharjah International Film Festival and won a special certificate of appreciation. "Rounding out the line-up was the world premiere of "Khaled Al-Sheikh: Between the Thorns of Art and Politics" a documentary produced by Thamanya with the support of Ithra, as part of its content initiative program.
Throughout the festival Ithra also hosted a special pavilion in the festival market, highlighting how the centre nurtures young filmmakers and supports the growing film industry in KSA. Ithra also presented a $50,000 prize to the winner of the "Best Pitched Saudi Film" at the Red Sea Souk Award ceremony taking place at the festival on December 5.
"We are proud and excited to showcase the array of high-quality films that shine the light on Saudi culture and traditions and the considerable cinematic talent that is fast-emerging on the international film scene," said Majed Zuhair Samman, Head of Performing Arts and Cinema at Ithra. "Ithra has participated in more than 72 film festivals since 2016 until now, and Ithra’s films have won 24 awards. We remain passionate about our commitment to discover and develop the next generation of Saudi filmmakers."
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