Saudi Premieres First GCC Movie In Cinemas After Ban Lift

Feature film Shabab Sheyab premieres in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, becoming the first GCC film to play in cinemas in the country following the lifting of the ban earlier this year, , according to Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the studio behind the film.

Directed and written by Yasir Al-Yasiri, Shabab Sheyab is a comedy telling the story of four elderly friends living in senior citizens home who go on an adventure after one of them inherits a large fortune. Image Nation Abu Dhabi released the film in Riyadh on November 8, with a UAE premiere set to take place later in the month, followed by a wider release.

“Arabic-language entertainment is in high demand among Saudi and GCC audiences, so opening the first regionally-made film in the country is a major milestone and sets the tone for a bright future,” said Ben Ross, Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s chief content officer, in a statement.

The film arrives after moviegoers in the Middle East and North Africa spent $500 million at the box office in 2017, according to numbers from PwC. But that total should increase dramatically as Saudi Arabia’s entertainment industry opens up in the years to come.

 

Source Credit: Forbes MiddleEast