Saudi Movie ‘Irtidad’ shortlisted at International Film Festival

Saudi Movie ‘Irtidad’ shortlisted at International Film Festival
Image Credit: Arab News

The new Saudi movie “Irtidad” has been shortlisted for screening at the 42nd Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. The film has been selected from 9,000 submissions and 80 nominees, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Sunday.

Produced by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra), “Irtidad”, is a film about the experiencing diverse cultures that we live within and the subsequent cultural shock.

The film was presented as part of the Saudi Film Days contest, which is one of the center’s initiatives for developing local cinema by Ithra. This is part of the aim of creating space for beginners and professionals and giving a push forward to the cinema industry in the Kingdom by estimating their distinctive capabilities and potentials, providing platforms for movie producers and directors in the Kingdom.

The director said that the film’s showcasing of Saudi culture led to the nomination at the Clermont-Ferrand festival, which is one of the world’s most prestigious short film festivals.

The head of performing arts at Ithra, Majed Z. Samman said: “The center supports the cinema industry in the Kingdom by recognizing invaluable talents and encouraging them to be part of the world stage.”

Directed by Mohamed Al-Hamoud, is the story of a newlywed couple belonging to two very different worlds. The husband belonging to a remote village, Jazan, in contrast, the wife was raised in the bustling Jeddah. The film explores the local culture of the southern regions in the Kingdom.

The humble background of the husband coincides with that of his wife who is used to the fast life of the city, resulting in a cultural shock.

Al-Hamoud said that the film was titled “Irtidad,” which means recoil in English, “because its events revolve around the culture shock or the first recoiling that occurs when exploring a new and different world. The exposure caused by the environment, the places and the new faces portray the initial test for their emerging relationship.”

The festival is scheduled to be held during the period Jan. 31 – Feb. 8, 2020, in the city of Clermont-Ferrand, France.