Oman Desert International Film Festival Kicks off

1st Oman Desert International Film Festival Kicks off in Bidiya

Bidiya: The Omani Cinema Association opened today the first International Cinema and Desert Festival in the state of Bidiya in the North Al Sharqiyah Governorate, as part of the North Al Sharqiyah Winter 2024 activities, with the participation of 65 films from 18 countries, under the patronage of His His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Ali Al Harithi, Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Political Affairs, the festival will continue for four days.

Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Rasbi, director of the festival, said in his speech that the festival, which begins today in the Wilayat of Bidiya, is the most prominent artistic and cultural event, and aims to raise the efficiency of filmmaking in the Sultanate of Oman and promote the Omani desert winter.

He added that the festival will host representatives of international production companies to carry out sustainable cooperation to sell Omani cinematic production with the aim of developing the cultural heritage and creating an environment for filmmakers that encourages the continuation of high-quality cinematic production.

Al-Rasbi confirmed that the festival is the first of its kind in the Sultanate of Oman and 18 countries from around the world participate in it, and the participating films amounted to 65 films, including 13 international documentaries, 12 Omani documentaries, in addition to 34 international feature films, and 6 Omani novelist.

During the opening ceremony, speeches were given by the institutions supporting the festival and a speech by the festival’s guest of honor – the United Arab Emirates – with the participation of Abdullah Al-Junaibi, Dr. Hussein Ibrahim, and Nasser Al-Dhaheri – in addition to another speech from the jury consisting of the documentary film jury headed by the Jordanian Khamis Majdalawi, and a jury.

Feature films are headed by Iraqi Nizar Fadaam, and the two committees include a number of specialists from the Sultanate of Oman and the participating countries.

The celebration also included the presentation of a number of visual presentations, the showing of a film entitled “Development in the North Al Sharqiyah Governorate”, and another presentation of “the films that qualified for the festival”, the most prominent of which in the field of documentary films was the film “Under the Sand” by director Jan Al Balushi from the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the film “ “Sawa” by director Hadi Mahood from Iraq, and in the field of feature films, “The Perennial Tree” by director Abdullah Al-Batashi from the Sultanate of Oman, and “Digor” by director Moatasem Samirat from Jordan, in addition to a number of documentaries and feature films from Iraq, Iran, Algeria, and Morocco, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Jordan, in addition to a number of feature films from the Sultanate of Oman.

The celebration concluded by honoring the festival’s guests, jury committees, and supporting entities who contributed to the success of the film festival. It should be noted that the festival program includes a number of diverse events that will be held over four continuous days.

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