Khaleeji Films: Overcoming Stereotypes
NB: This panel will be conducted in Arabic with simultaneous English translation Traditionally, storytelling has always played a central role in Arab culture. Do Khaleeji films rely on stereotypes, or are we at a turning point, looking to follow tradition and find new ways of creative expression? Four film professionals from the Gulf region will discuss contemporary Khaleeji storytelling and new regional and international influences on it.
Haifaa Al Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia and is regarded as one of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom. The success of her three short films, as well as the international acclaim won by her award-winning 2005 documentary ‘Women Without Shadows’, influenced a whole new wave of Saudi filmmakers and made the issue of opening cinemas in the Kingdom a front-page discussion. Within the Kingdom, her work is both praised and vilified for encouraging discussion on topics generally considered too taboo, including tolerance, the dangers of orthodoxy, and the need for Saudis to take a critical look at their traditional and restrictive culture.
Marzook Bin Marzook
Director, Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage