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Ithra, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, revealed two new film productions this morning here in Cannes.
Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy – whose films include 2016 Cannes Un Certain Regard opener Clash, 2018 Cannes Competition title Yomeddine, and 2020 Sundance pic Luxor – is teaming with Ithra on Sea of Sands (working title), a coming-of-age story centered around a young orphan Bedouin and a camel who form a special bond and embark on a journey across Saudi Arabia.
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“Ithra has played a significant role in supporting independent filmmakers from Saudi Arabia at a critical time just as the Kingdom’s booming film industry begins to take shape,” said Hefzy. “I am thrilled to work with them and all the Saudi and Arab talent who will be joining this exciting project.” The film is set to be filmed in various locations around Saudi Arabia.
Ithra is also producing Saudi filmmaker Khalid Fahad’s Valley Road. The film follows the odyssey of Ali, an autistic young man who gets lost on the way to see a doctor in a nearby village. Ali finds himself alone in the middle of nowhere, where a series of obstacles and challenges cannot stop him from discovering the world ahead of him.
“We support the Kingdom’s growing film industry by nurturing homegrown talent and fostering cinema and filmmaking in Saudi Arabia. We are honored to announce our next two projects at one of the world’s most prestigious film fairs as part of the Saudi Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival,” said Majed Z. Samman, Head of Performing Arts & Cinema at Ithra, and a producer on both projects.
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