Saturday, 21 November 2020


Riyadh: The British Council will host an online event next week (Wednesday, 25 November) for young aspiring filmmakers in Saudi Arabia.

The event – Through the Eyes of Filmmakers - will be led by Paul Pauwels, former Director of the European Documentary Network, and he will be joined by a panel of local filmmakers, including - Moayad Abualkhair, a documentary producer working on his first feature film; Abdulrahman Khawj , a screenwriter, director and producer who runs the production company, Cinepoetics Pictures, Mansour Albadran, a director and producer, working in corporate film, and Modhi Alzamil, a director whose first short film Dissonance, explores cognitive dissonance through interviews with people of different ages and backgrounds.

The panel, who all previously attended the renowned UK film festival - Sheffield Doc/Fest through the British Council in 2019, will discuss how these kinds of international opportunities have helped develop their work, their experience as young film makers in Saudi Arabia and  ways to pitch a new project. They will also chat about current opportunities both locally and internationally, along with a Q&A session.

This  event comes on the back of British Council’s recent Saudi Film Skills research, which outlined the skills and capabilities needed to strengthen and grow the film sector in the future. While the report found that Saudi Arabia has the potential to have more films made by Saudis, in Saudi Arabia, it highlighted that skill shortages were viewed as a major issue, with a call for more training opportunities within Saudi Arabia.

The research is part of a long-term plan by the British Council to support Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision and bring UK expertise in the creative industries to young people through capacity building programmes. 

Eilidh Kennedy McLean, Director of the British Council Saudi Arabia said: “We are delighted to deliver this webinar for aspiring Saudi filmmakers. It follows the launch of our Films Skills Research last month, which highlighted the need for further training and networking opportunities for young people in the sector. We hope through events like this we will inspire the next generation of young Saudi filmmakers and develop an exciting, vibrant and commercially successful film sector.”

Through the Eyes of Filmmakers is a free event, open to anyone interested in film skills in Saudi Arabia.

To find out more or register, visit:

To join the webinar, Click the link below at the specified time: 

Wednesday | November 25, 2020

13.00 – 14.05

Join Live Event

The British Council is the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation. For more information on current opportunities in Saudi Arabia, visit: or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook..

Notes to Editor

About the panel 

Moayad Abualkhair 
Moayad Abualkhair is adocumentary producer. His work in the past has focused on Arabian history and Islamic monuments. In recent years he has made the switch to the entertainment industry aspiring to become a writer/director as he is currently developing his first feature film. Mo holds a BFA from Belmont University/Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

Abdulrahman Khawj
Abdulrahman Khawj is a screenwriter, Director and film producer. Abdulrahman Holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking. He taught screenwriting and producing at Effat University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He currently runs a production company, Cinepoetics Pictures, specializing in developing and producing feature films and limited series.

Mansour Albadran
Mansour Albadran, a Saudi film director and producer based in Dammam. Starting his career in 2008, Mansour has produced since then four short narrative films and five documentaries that got selected in multiple film festivals around the world, such as the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, United Nations' Plural Plus Film Festival, and the Saudi Film Festival. In 2016 Mansour earned a degree in Cinema Production from DePaul University and in 2017 started working as full-time corporate film production director.

Modhi Al Zamil
Modhi Al Zamil as a director on this day and age she has learnt to transpose minor changes by translating them visually to a bigger picture for viewers to comprehend. She aims to shed light on topics that are unheard of through her work. Her first short film is called Dissonance, a short experimental film that explores cognitive dissonance through interviews with people of different ages and backgrounds. It focuses on inconsistencies in beliefs, ideas or values causing psychological stress.

For further information please contact:

Claire McAuley, Senior Communication Manager, Gulf Cluster - T +44 (0) 28 9019 2224 | M +44 (0) 7856524504, or follow on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.  For more information, please visit:

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