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  • May 03, 2017

Kuwaiti cinema … old legacy, future hopes

Kuwaiti cinema has developed throughout the years releasing different short films and long features that told the story of different aspects of life in old and modern Kuwait.
Kuwait was a center where different cultures met and mingled since the old times and as people of different backgrounds continued to move into the country, they introduced their own art and culture that added to the Kuwaiti cinema experience.
The first movie titled “sons of Sinbad” emerged in 1939 by an Australian tourist, telling the story of pearl diving in Kuwait.
This was followed by the production of another movie “Kuwait between the past and present” in 1946, by Mohammad Qabazard, who was the first Kuwaiti producer to own a cinematic camera in the early 30s.
The importance of cinema grew in Kuwait as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and Ministry of Information have established departments specialized in producing educational movies and other types of documentaries.
The turning point in Kuwaiti cinema was the movie (Bas Ya Bahar) by producer Khaled Al-Siddeeq in 1972. It told the story of the dangers Kuwaitis faced when diving for pearls back in the day.
The movie saw some regional and international success, however, Kuwaiti cinema still lacked a real regional and international fan base.

Head of Lulua production company Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah

Currently, there are a number of Kuwaiti figures who are eagerly exerting efforts to develop the cinematic field in the country.
Speaking about such aspect, head of Lulua production company Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah noted that she got into the cinema field with a view to make Kuwait the cinematic capital of the Gulf.
Sheikha Intisar said she had launched a professional training course for cinematic production, dØ£©cor, and music, aiming to develop the skills of youth in the field.

Producer Dawoud Al-Shoail

Kuwaiti movies are now attracting large numbers of Gulf viewers. She added that the recent two movies (Habib Al-Ardh) and (Al-Ater) had been playing for weeks in cinemas.
On his part, producer Dawoud Al-Shoail said the Kuwaiti cinema lacks a strong infrastructure, which is a necessity for development.

Producer Ahmad Al-Khodari

Kuwaiti movies in general have weak cinematic narration of the story, as they sound more like a TV series, he explained.
He advised producers to pay more attention to their script and allow it to be presented in the best picture possible. He also called on the government to give facilitations in permits for movie productions and provide specialized funds for the matter.
Meanwhile, producer Ahmad Al-Khodari also agreed on the difficulty of receiving a production permit in Kuwait. He said it is a long complicated process that producers have to endure every time.
He noted that the cinematic field look promising these days, speaking of the “Adasa Festival” for audio and visual art, launched by the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs earlier this month.
Al-Khodari also mentioned the upcoming Kuwait’s first film festival on March 24, organized by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL).
Speaking about his movie “the unmissing part” which won 11 international awards within one year, the producer said the successful story was written by young Kuwaiti narrator Mohammad Al-Muhaiteeb.

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