Rotana begins production of big-budget film

Rotana Audio Visual and Dubai Studio City have announced the production of Keif Al Hal, a feature film on Saudi Arabian society.

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By  Vijaya Cherian Published  December 31, 2005

Rotana Audio Visual and Dubai Studio City have announced the production of Keif Al Hal, a feature film on Saudi Arabian society. The film, directed by Izidore Musallam and starring Hisham Abdulrahman, Turky Al-Yousif, Fatema Al-Housani and Khalid Sami, is a social drama that focuses on some of the issues that the youth in Saudi Arabia face today. “Don’t expect to see the typical kind of acting or direction that you see in most Arabic films today,” says Musallam. “This will be something to watch out for,” he adds. The film, which was shot over a period of 20 days last month, marks the start of big-budget cinema production in the region. “This movie is very important for us given that it is the first Saudi Arabian movie and the first wide-release Gulf movie,” says Ayman Halawani, general manager, film production, Rotana Audio Visual. “Our viewers are looking to us to provide something close to their culture and talk frankly about their issues.” When asked if Rotana would be allowed to screen this movie in Saudi cinemas, Halawani said things were gradually changing in the Kingdom. “The Kingdom has recently screened a couple of movies, even if it was only for children. We also believe that there are other means of reaching audiences in Saudi Arabia, such as cable TV, and we will explore these means if cinema is not an option.” Dubai Studio City has extended its support to the film by providing logistical help and making various aspects of the production possible. “Dubai Studio City is delighted to support this pioneering venture,” says Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, director of media, TECOM Investments. “We hope that our support provided in the form of our Location Approval Services (LAS) will contribute to the success of this important undertaking”, she adds.

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