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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Riyadh: In line with Saudi Vision 2030’s aim to develop a promising Saudi film industry, Effat University held a press conference to discuss the most important activities of the 10th Showreel: Effat International Student Film Festival on 15 March 2023 at its premises.
During the conference, the program for the festival was revealed with the slogan “A Sea of Films,” under the auspices and presence of Princess Lulwa Al-Faisal, vice president of the board of trustees and the general supervisor of Effat University, in Jeddah.
The festival aims to develop the Saudi film industry, serve as a network for local and international filmmakers and provide an opportunity for students from Saudi Arabia and abroad to watch and discuss a variety of short films.
In her opening remarks, Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, president of the university, said: “The main initiative of the University has always been to explore media and film production. Hence in 2012, we initiated collaboration with one of the top film schools in the world, the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, to develop a unique and progressive program of film production for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
“Although it was a challenging decision, we successfully developed it, and since then, it has been growing. We collaborated with international professors and passionate students in reaching this moment where we could celebrate the success of creativity, and also it’s a proud moment to watch students flourishing in the movies career and walking around the red carpet around the world.”
Dr. Mohammed Ghazalah, head of the School of Cinematic Arts at Effat University, presented an overview of the festival’s prominent guests and honorees. “We received more than 2,000 short films from film students around the world in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the School of Cinematic Arts. Although it was very challenging to shortlist only 45 films, we were happy to have received movies from more than 100 countries,” he said.
Ghazalah said that the festival will receive guests from international film schools, as well as film producers and directors from the US, Germany, Britain and Saudi Arabia. During the festival, several workshops on cinematic makeup, visual effects and animation will be held.
The conference will also include a keynote speech from Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the University of Southern California School of Cinema, along with several speeches by specialists in the film industry.
Saudi Arabia’s renewed focus on media and entertainment has increased the demand for professional content in media and film production. In this context, the Bachelor of Science in Cinematic Arts program at Effat University is set to become a prominent one not only in Saudi Arabia but also in the entire Gulf Cooperation Council region to contribute to building the Saudi film market.
Dr. Asma Ibrahim, dean of the College of Architecture and Design, highlighted the most important activities and events accompanying the festival, saying that Saudi’s new projects underway are “widening its vision for the new generation” and that cinema is “playing a vital role in empowering the imagination.”
Effat University’s School of Cinematic Arts is the first and only school in Saudi Arabia to provide a bachelor’s degree in cinema. The program is the first and only undergraduate degree in the Kingdom that aims to produce professionals qualified to meet the market needs of this burgeoning industry.
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