Cinema of Saudi Arabia

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The cinema of Saudi Arabia is comparatively small, producing only a few feature films and documentaries each year.

Although there are no cinemas in the kingdom, many Saudis watch films via satellite, DVD and video. Keif al-Hal?, billed as Saudi Arabia's first film, was shot in the United Arab Emirates and the lead female was Jordanian. The film has produced much debate in the country with regard to the country's position on cinemas and films. The documentary short film Cinema 500 km directed by Abdullah Al-Eyaf discussed the issue of banning cinema theaters in the country, the film forced the media to highlight the issue on all media levels.

Movie halls[edit]

During the 1970s, cinemas were numerous in the Kingdom and were not considered un-Islamic, although they were seen as contrary to Arab tribal norms.

In 1980s, there were some improvised movie halls in Saudi Arabia, most of which were in Jeddah and Mecca. There mostly Egyptian, Indian, and Turkish films were screened without government intervention. However, all these halls were closed down as a result of continuous objections of religious conservatives during the Islamic revival movement in the 1980s, and as a political response to an increase in Islamist activism including the 1979 seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the government closed all cinemas and theaters.[1]


Video Renting Stores[edit]

Video renting stores started in the 80's, offering Arabic,Western and Asian Moives. By the late 90's with the increasing number of Free-To-Air Satellite TV channels, most Video stores started to close.

During King Abdullah's reforms in 2005, some cinemas re-opened.

Saudi films[edit]

Films shot in Saudi Arabia[edit]

Saudi directors[edit]

Saudi actors[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Admon, Y. (March 11, 2010). "Revival of Cinema Sparks Debate in Saudi Arabia" (Inquiry and Analysis Series Report No.595). MEMRI. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 

See also[edit]