Work starts on cinema licensing regulations

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Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH
— The General Commission for Audiovisual Media announced that it is drafting cinema licensing regulations, Al-Watan Arabic newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“We are just waiting for the rules and regulations charter to be issued by the commission so we can open cinemas,” said Red Sea Mall Leasing Manager Waleed Al-Shihry.

“Cinemas alone have revenue of half the money earned by leasing the mall’s stores to other businesses. We met with experts from Bahrain and the UAE to learn from their experiences,” said Al-Shihry.

He said the multiplex in the Red Sea Mall will have 12 to 15 screens.

“We are waiting to know who will be the main operators of cinemas in the Kingdom and who will take care of the production process and production rights,” he said.

Al-Shihry also said that Jeddah is a big tourist city in the Kingdom, so it will have the largest number of cinemas.

“There will be five to six movie theaters, but not all will be built inside shopping malls,” he added.

Documentary filmmaker Fatima Sairafi said cinemas will open countless job opportunities.

“There are many Saudis who have studied production and directing abroad.

Opening cinemas in the Kingdom will give them the platform they need to work. There have been many short films produced in Saudi Arabia. Saudi filmmakers need financial support,” said Al-Sairafi.

She expressed hope that movie halls will dedicate a week for Saudi productions only. That way Saudi films will be able to compete internationally.

Four modern movie theaters at Riyadh Park will be ready for opening soon to the public, according to sources.

From the year 2000 to the present, more than 65 Saudi films have been produced, which means success will continue with the opening of cinemas.


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