Cairo: A Saudi horror film featuring actors from several countries has hit Saudi movie theatres and set a premiere record in the kingdom where the entertainment industry is thriving.
Based on a 2021 novel of the same name by head of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority Turki Alalsheikh, “Cello” achieved the biggest premiere for a Saudi film with overall tickets of 53,103, the official said.
Around 60 per cent of “Cello” cast are Saudis, while the film features other actors from the US,UK, Kuwait and Syria.
“Cello” stars Jeremey Irons, Tobin Bell, Samer Ismail, Elham Ali, Souad Abdullah and is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.
It was filmed in eight weeks in several places in Saudi Arabia and Prague in the Czech Republic.
More than 200 Saudis worked on the movie in filmography, make-up, and costumes. “Cello” will have subtitles in seven languages and shown at theatres around the world and online streaming platforms.
Local media described “Cello” as the first Saudi horror film made with world standards.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has sought to nurture its entertainment industry, staging a series of star-studded concerts, cinema, theatrical shows and competitions as part of efforts to overhaul its oil-dependent economy.
Created in 2016, GEA has collaborated with private sector partners in launching a series of events in different areas of Saudi Arabia to draw local and foreign audiences.
In 2018, Saudi Arabia reopened cinemas for the first time in nearly four decades.
Entertainment events in the kingdom attracted 22.7 million visitors in the first half of this year, GEA said.
It added that those events were held in 120 cities across the kingdom, meeting the diverse entertainment needs of visitors and diversifying entertainment activities for residents and visitors of the kingdom.
A major summer calendar of concerts and theatrical shows has just wrapped up, covering 17 cities across the kingdom.