STOCK Saudi Arabia skyline
Saudi Arabia skyline. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: A government tour will be launched soon to show Saudi films in five countries as the entertainment industry is flourishing in the kingdom.

The tour, the second edition of the “Saudi Film Nights” will start this month with showings in Morocco and later move on to Australia, China, and India before wrapping up in Mexico next January.

The Saudi Film Commission said the international tour will comprise showings of Saudi feature and short movies screened at local and international festivals, along with debates with filmmakers in the presence of fans, academics, critics and artists.

The Commission’s CEO Abdullah Al Qahtani said the “Saudi Film Nights” initiative reflects a commitment to consolidate the kingdom’s cinema culture and highlight promising potential of Saudi movies in attracting an international audience.

The event made its debut last year with five showings in four French cities with the aim of shedding light on the film productions in the kingdom, supporting Saudi filmmakers, giving them access to a varied international audience and establishing solid links with international cinema forums to exchange expertise.

The film industry has grown in Saudi Arabia in recent years as the kingdom is seeking to diversify its oil-reliant economy and attract more foreign visitors.

In 2016, the kingdom established the General Entertainment Authority, a state agency that has since sponsored a set of stellar concerts, stage shows and festivals.

In April 2018, Saudi Arabia reopened cinemas for the first time in nearly four decades. In December 2021, the kingdom unveiled the first edition of the government-supported Red Sea International Film Festival.