Between June 15 to 22, Riyadh will welcome 14 films from different European countries.
In cooperation with the Embassies of the EU Member States and Arabia Pictures Group, the Delegation of the European Union in Riyadh has announced the first-ever European Film Festival in Saudi Arabia.
The festival will run from June 15-22 and entail a screening of 14 European films from different European countries. These include Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Spain and Sweden. The projected films include Little Joe by Jessica Hausner, Campeones by Javier Fesser and I am Greta by Nathan Grossman.
Speaking about the festival, Patrick Simonnet, EU Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: “We are very happy to host the first-ever European Film Festival in Saudi Arabia. As the EU, we are keen to add to the vibrant cultural scene of Saudi Arabia, facilitating cultural exchange and introducing European culture while also fostering contacts between Europeans and Saudis to enhance mutual understanding. We also thank our partners in this endeavour, especially Arabia Pictures, Vox Cinema and the Saudi Film Commission.”
Roua Almadani, CEO of Arabia Pictures (APG), added: “This event is a milestone within the Kingdom and a bridge between Europe and the rising film industry in Saudi Arabia. We would like to thank the delegation of the European Union for collaborating with us, the Saudi Film Commission for its support and our esteemed partners, especially Vox Cinema.”
Aimed at facilitating cultural exchange and promoting European cinema, the festival will also foster contact between the European and Saudi filmmakers through the organisation of dedicated side events. Among the guests will be film directors Gregory Magne and Marios Piperides, from France and Cyprus respectively. Other events include Alberto Battocchi, Film Commissioner of Trentino, raising awareness on environmental practices around movie-making; Giacomo Mazzariol, the screenwriter of the Italian film My Brother Chases Dinosaurs and Matti Rockenbauch, who will discuss with the Saud film community legal aspects of filmmaking.
All screenings will take place at the Vox Cinema The Esplanade who is also co-sponsoring the event alongside Alliance Française, Goethe Institut and the Embassy of Italy to Saudi Arabia. The event has also benefited from the support of the Saudi Film Commission.
Mohamed Al Hashemi, Country Head, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure, Entertainment, Cinemas & Lifestyle, commented: “Film not only has the ability to entertain but also provides audiences with a window into other cultures. Vox Cinemas is proud to sponsor the inaugural European Film Festival in Riyadh, which celebrates the transformative power of cinema.”
Tickets to all film screenings will be sold at 35 SAR ($9.33).