(MENAFN - Arab News) A television film festival will be organized early next year in the Kingdom for the first time.
The festival, which carries the theme "Sons of a single nation," aims to promote national sentiments among Saudi youth besides presenting a brilliant image of Islam.
The festival organizers hope to promote emerging film talents within the purview of social customs and religious values, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported yesterday.
The festival will be conducted under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Information.
In the past, efforts to show films or organize festivals failed because of objections from some sections of society.
The five-day event will feature short films and documentaries, said Chairman of the festival Abdul Aziz Al-Faraha. The films will be shown at the King Abdul Aziz Cultural Center in Jeddah, which has a capacity for 1,000 men and 500 women. While men will view films at the ground floor, women can view from the first floor of the hall. Viewers can vote for films via SMS or the Internet.
Exhibitions and workshops on media, production companies, and modern technology will take place on the sidelines of the festival and members of the general public can attend.
The list of participants from the art, intellectual and media world will be issued after the approval of the Ministry of Culture and Information, Al-Faraha said.
The films competing in the festival, all Saudi-made, will be selected later. The best film will be awarded SR 100,000 and the runner-up SR 75,000, he said.
The festival will also strive to foster local film production and offer opportunities for Saudi producers to feature their works and develop their future projects apart from encouraging original and outstanding works, he said.
The festival also intends to discover talents in areas such as script writing, acting, direction and photography, which could be used for film production in the Kingdom.
Al-Faraha stressed the need to develop local talents in the field because 90 percent of the technical workers in the Kingdom's film production are foreigners and 70 percent of the production cost is paid to Syrians, Egyptians and Jordanians.