Film Festival Opens in Cinema-Less Saudi Arabia


The Saudi Film Festival opened with 58 homegrown cinematic works which were screened in the ultra-conservative kingdom that continues to ban public cinemas. “Welcome to all of you, filmmakers, makers of art and makers of hope,” festival director Ahmed al-Mulla told participants at the opening ceremony, which was broadcast online. The fourth edition of the festival is the third consecutive annual film festival in Saudi Arabia after a hiatus of seven years. Saudi Arabia late last year began a cautious push to introduce entertainment, despite opposition from Muslim hardliners. Other events on offer for Saudi spectators have been the New York theatrical group iLuminate, the Comic-Con pop culture festival, and WWE wrestling.