We are proud to present three films from Saudi Arabia as part of our 21st edition’s official selection. These films represent the best of Saudi filmmaking, reflecting the creativity, culture, and humor of the Saudi people, and most notably: its filmmaker’s penchant for crafting boundary-pushing work. AFF is looking forward to bringing these films to American audiences who are intrigued yet often misinformed by the media about Saudi life and values. These filmmakers represent the future of Saudi film and offer a look at its independent film scene American audiences would otherwise not be privy to.
A mix of two short films with a feature that demonstrate the nuanced mobilizations of narratively, docuform, social commentary, and genre that came out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the past festival season. This program will move through varied tones, including observational documentary, comedy/satire, and ghost story horror; ranging from the buzzing streets of Qatif City and a comedy of errors in Riyadh, to the majestic, albeit spooky Madayen ruins.
In This Program
Ali Kalthami / Saudi Arabia / 2017 / 33 minsBased on true events that happened during a theatre play in Riyadh 10 years ago. The play was titled "Wasati bela Wastiah" or "A Moderate Without a Middle-Ground." During the performance, a group of extremists attacked the performers and the play was shut down. The story shook Saudi Arabian society and was all over the news. WASATI addresses this event and retells it from a different point of view.
Mohammed Salman / Saudi Arabia / 2016 / 15 minsTells the stories of the drivers of the distinctive old yellow taxis in Qatif City, who struggle to compete with taxi drivers who have more "modern" vehicles.
Ayman Tamano / Saudi Arabia / 2016 / 66 minsThree Saudis investigate the fabled haunted ruins of Madayen and discover there's more truth than myth awaiting them.