Dammam, Asharq Al-Awsat- The organizing committee of the first Saudi film competition that is to be held 20-24 May 2008 in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, has announced that it will offer prize money amounting to 46,000 Saudi Riyals (SR) [US $12,000] and has given details of its judging panel.
The annual event, organized by the Dammam Literary Club in cooperation with the Saudi Society of Arts and Culture, will feature Saudi, Gulf and Arab movies of various genres.
Ahmed al Mulla, director of the Saudi film competition and head of the organizing committee said, “The contest is made up of three parts: the competition for best short narrative film where the winning film will be awarded the Golden Palm Tree and 10,000 SR [US $2,700] whilst those in second and third place are given the Silver and Bronze Palm Trees and 5000 SR [US $1300] and 3000 SR [$800] respectively.”
“The second stage of the competition focuses on docufilms and the winning production in this category will be awarded the Golden Palm Tree and 10,000 SR. The films that are ranked second and third in this category are awarded the Silver and Bronze Palm Trees and 5000 and 3000 SR respectively,” explained al Mulla.
Al Mulla continued to explain that the third segment of the competition would focus on screenplays and the winning script would be awarded the Golden Palm Tree and 10,000 SR.
Al Mulla stated that the organizing committee had selected a number of well-known figures in the fields of cinema and cultural affairs to make up the judging panel. These figures include: Bahraini novelist and film critic Amin Saleh who will head the panel, Saudi film critic Fahad al Asta, Saudi film director Abdul Khaleq al Ghanem, Saudi film critic Khaled Rabee al Sayyed and novelist Dr. Mubarak al Khaledy. Moreover, Imad al Nuwairi, renowned film critic and head of the Kuwait Cinema Club will critique [entries] for the contest.
Two books will be published for the event, the first of which will look at the developments of Saudi cinema from the production of the first Saudi film until the end of 2007 and will be written by Khaled Rabee al Sayyed. As for the second book, by writer Amin Saleh, the trends of international cinema and its turning points will be highlighted. A daily publication will be produced outlining the developments of the competition.
The organizing committee will accept film and screenplay entries until the end of March 2008.