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After ending cinema ban, Saudis rolls out red carpet for 1st film festival

16 9 1

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabi (AFP) — Less than four years after lifting a ban on cinemas, Saudi Arabia rolled out the red carpet Monday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah for celebrities descending on the kingdom’s first major film festival.

Saudi, Arab and foreign actors, and actresses walked the red carpet in evening wear — a far cry from the traditional black abaya that until recently was the officially mandated dress code for women.

“It’s a historical day in the kingdom,” the festival’s director Mohammed Al Turki told AFP.

Movie houses were barred for decades until April 2018, but over the next 10 days, actors and directors will showcase their features at Jeddah’s Red Sea International Film Festival.

The festival started a day after Jeddah hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix, also an attempt to portray Saudi Arabia in a different light.

It will showcase 138 long and short films from 67 countries in more than 30 languages.

Among them are Jordan’s critically acclaimed “The Alleys,” directed by Bassel Ghandour, and non-Arabic films including Joe Wright’s “Cyrano” and “’83,” the........

© The Times of Israel

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