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Effat University film fest to feature leading media figures

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Time: April 03, 2019    

JEDDAH — As part of its 20th anniversary celebrations, Effat University has launched its sixth annual Showreel. With the slogan “The World Through Their Eyes,” the Showreel is the university’s celebration of the movies of its female students and graduates from the Visual and Digital Production Department, which is the Kingdom’s first department teaching filmmaking.

The ceremony will be held on Thursday (April 4), under the aegis of Princess Lolowah Al-Faisal, the vice president of the board of trustees and general supervisor of Effat University.

Osama Haykal, former Egyptian media minister and president of the Egyptian Media Production City, will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will be opened by Effat graduate, the famous actress Fatima Al-Banawi.

The guests of honor will be the well-known actress Maryam Al-Ghamdi from Saudi Arabia; film director Nawaf Al-Janahi from the UAE; Fatima Al-Husainan from the National Council for Culture, Arts and Literature in Kuwait; producer Sam Lahoud from Lebanon; Egyptian film critic Tarek Al-Shinnawi, and the Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzi and Abdulrahman Lahi, Mauritanian producer and president of the council of the Cultural Resource Institution.

The event will be held in the main hall at the university and will showcase the best student productions of short films, documentaries, and animation along with an interactive media exhibition.

The event will conclude a week packed with workshops presented to the public by Effat University students at the Effat Library. The workshops will be run by a select number of cinematographers who are guests at the festival.

The festival will begin with workshops by Richard Litvin, American producer and professor at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, which has been in academic partnership with Effat University since 2016. The workshops will deal with the pre and post-production phases.

The following workshops will be held: Screenwriting by Bahraini producer Bassam Al-Thawadi; Production, Financing and Distribution in Film Making by Sam Lahoud; and Cultural Management and Innovative Marketing by Abdulrahman Lahi.

A seminar entitled “The Art of Watching Films” will be presented by Tarek Al-Shinnawi in addition to a lecture on Kuwaiti cinema by Fatima Al-Husainan as well as a workshop on producing a creative vision by Nawaf Al-Janahi.

The festival will also include a seminar for his new book “From Makkah to Cannes” by Lebanese critic Ibrahim Al-Aris. The book deals with the movies of Saudi producer, Abdullah Al-Mohaisen.

Dr. Haifa Jamal Al-Lail, president of Effat University, said: “We began working in this area six years ago, and made efforts at the highest standards in order to become pioneers in teaching filmmaking in the Kingdom. We thank God that our efforts have been productive and that Saudi society has reacted positively to Saudi filmmaking.”

“From the beginning, our main goal has been to interact with society; the sounds and images were the most powerful tools for the interaction and we now have a bigger responsibility with the opening of movie theaters and the expansion of the entertainment industry.”

The Visual and Digital Production Department at Effat University was established in 2013 and became the first and only one in the Kingdom after being approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. The program is in collaboration with the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, and was further developed with the support of the New York Arts and Film School. The visual and digital production department at Effat University includes film production, animation, screenwriting, and interactive media.

There are a variety of career opportunities for female graduates in the fields of cinema, TV production, press, social media networks, visual communication and public relations in addition to opportunities in the academic field. These different areas now include graduates from the Kingdom and from abroad.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette

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