One of the most coveted events of the film industry, Cannes Film Festival is due to take place next month. While cine lovers wait to see who will win the prestigious Palme d'Or and Grand Prix awards, it has now been reported that competition has just increased at the festival. Saudi Arabia has become the latest nation to join the festival.
The kingdom has announced the establishment of the Saudi Film Council which has passed nine films to be exhibited at the festival’s Short Film Corner between May 14 and 15. The short films have been made by independent local filmmakers from the country.
“I am thrilled that Saudi Arabia has launched the Saudi Film Council with a clear focus on nurturing its filmmaking talent and sharing Saudi stories with the world. It is a great way of opening up global opportunities for its creative talent. The many young filmmakers among the Saudi delegation will have access to the world’s most prestigious film festival, including meaningful interactions with leading, international film industry professionals,” said Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux while welcoming the nation to the Croisette.
As the kingdom attempts a makeover under the leadership of its new prince, it wants to divulge in industries aside oil. Filmmaking is something which the country wants to focus on now. Its recent revoke of ban on films is being seen as a major move.
Says Dr Awwad Alawwad, Minister of Culture and Information and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Saudi’s General Culture Authority said “The Kingdom looks forward to its debut presence at the festival, celebrating and supporting the diversity of talent and opportunities within the Saudi film industry. With a rich tradition of storytelling, Saudi Arabia is embarking on the development of a sustainable and dynamic industry that supports and encourages all stages of a film cycle and offers an incredible range of locations for the world’s filmmakers to discover.”