JEDDAH: As Saudi Arabia's Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) approaches the half-way point, award winning Egyptian actress Laila Eloui on Thursday expressed her positive view on the future of cinema in Saudi Arabia, Arab News reported.
Speaking on the fourth day of the festival in Jeddah, Eloui noted the changes in the industry and said that she believed greater things will be coming from the younger generation of film enthusists.
" Everyone can sense the change that's happening here," she said. "It's a change for the better, it's a change for more innovation, and I believe that there will be great things coming from the younger generation of directors, actors and actresses and more," Eloui was quoted as saying by Arab News.
Eloui's comments have inspired a new generation of Saudi filmmakers to step up and take their turn in the limelight.
She also urged the young film enthusiasts to grasp their opportunity and reminded them that they will be the makers of change in the Arab and Saudi film industry.
Eloui was speaking as part of a series of masterclass sessions featuring talks and question-and-answer discussions with film industry leaders.
The Egyptian also expressed her contentment and pride in seeing the Saudi community's engagement with the festival, as well as the popularity of films, talks and workshops.
Eloui has earned her popularity in the Egyptian and Arab film industry as one of the most versatile actresses of her generation. Having started as a child performer in radio programs at the age of 7 years, she made a successful transition to TV, theatre and cinema. Her eclectic career boasts 85 films, 41 TV series and 10 theatre plays.
Less than four years after lifting a ban on cinemas, Saudi Arabia had rolled out the red carpet on Monday in the Red Sea city of Jeddah for celebrities descending on the kingdom's first major film festival.
It will showcase 138 long and short films from 67 countries in more than 30 languages.
Among them are Jordan's critically acclaimed "The Alleys," directed by Bassel Ghandour, and non-Arabic films including Joe Wright's "Cyrano" and "'83," the story of India's 1983 cricket World Cup victory.
The festival also honored Haifaa al-Mansour, the first female Saudi director, who shot "Wadjda" in 2012, winning her a number of international awards.