Next month, a year will have passed since Saudi Arabia screened its first film following the lift of the nation’s 35-year-long cinema ban. Just weeks before marking the historic move’s anniversary, the kingdom will screen its first Saudi film in the heart of Jeddah.
Directed and co-produced by Abdulelah Al-Qurashi and XX, with a screenplay written by Yasser Hammad, the all-Saudi film—entitled, Roll ‘em—will see its first screening tomorrow at Jeddah’s Vox Cinemas, which opened earlier this year at Red Sea Mall.
The film tells the story of an aspiring Saudi filmmaker, named Omar Nizar who, upon deciding to produce a film on his native city, Jeddah, realizes that he doesn’t know it as well as he thought. The film plays out Nizar’s journey of struggle and discovery, which begins upon an encounter with Farid Lutfy, a 70-year-old cinematographer who left behind his cinematic career to run an antique shop.
“It’s a Jeddawi film to the core. The post-production was in Egypt. The areas where we don’t have expertise in we had to outsource, but everything that had to do with the creative work is purely Saudi,” Hammad told Arab New on the film.
Roll ‘em will open to the public on March 14.