“Nora” brings viewers back to the nineties of the last century
Al-Ula Film, affiliated to the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate, announced yesterday (Thursday) the start of the preparation phase for the upcoming filming of the upcoming feature film “Noura” directed by Tawfiq Al-Zaidi, producers Paul Miller and Sherif Al-Majali, and produced by Black Sugar Company for Artistic Production and Nibras Films.
“Noura” is the first feature film directed by Tawfiq Al-Zaidi, who is considered one of the promising talents within the new wave of Saudi cinema. The film is also the first Saudi film to be developed and filmed entirely in Al-Ula. Banning all forms of art and painting, the film tells the story of a girl named “Noura” who meets the artist “Nader”. Once a painting about Noura is drawn, they develop into an artistic relationship full of creativity, feelings and inspiration. On the one hand, Noura Nader inspires and awakens a sense of creativity, while he opens the door to a vast world outside her small village.
The director of the work, Tawfiq Al-Zaidi, said: “Noura is a picture of our relationship with art, and how to communicate with others, through which we discover horizons outside our surroundings, and artistic experiences capable of changing society. Perhaps Al-Ula is the perfect backdrop for a story like Noura’s.”
In September 2019, the film’s script won the “Light for Film Support” award from the Film Authority and the Saudi Ministry of Culture, which seeks to support Saudi talents, including professionals and students, specialized in the production of innovative Saudi content through local and international platforms.
It is noteworthy that Al-Ula has been able, over the past two years, to attract local and international film productions, thanks to its unique filming locations and unparalleled natural environment. This was confirmed by Stephen Strachan, Director of Film Department at the Royal Commission for Al-Ula, saying: “After the great success of the production experience of the movie “Kandahar” in Al-Ula, we are pleased to welcome the team of the feature film “Noura”, which is the first work hosted by Al-Ula after the opening of the new cinema complex. It includes residential facilities and offices dedicated to supporting business production, and Al-Ula is the ideal place to portray the story of “Noura” that touches the community in an honest and innovative way.”
Strachan added, “Al-Ula Film” is happy to host independent productions, develop local talents that shape a promising Saudi cinematic scene, and support cinematic production in all its stages, especially in light of the booming cinema industry in the Kingdom, unprecedented investment in infrastructure and talent development. And support production, so that the Kingdom will be the new destination for the global cinema industry.”
It should be noted that the filming of the thriller “Kandahar” directed by Rick Roman and international star Gerard Butler in Al-Ula and Jeddah ended last January. The film’s cast included more than 350 people, 10 percent of whom were Saudi nationals. The workers were distributed in the fields of production, visual effects, artistic operations, make-up and hair, and site management, in addition to hundreds who participated in the extras.
Al-Ula Film is currently continuing its efforts to complete the first phase of the project to develop Al-Ula studios, which includes two production complexes (photo studios), offices to support and host production operations, clothing and actors, a warehouse, and workshops, in order to meet the requirements of local and international production. The new complex also includes a resort for film industry professionals and crew members with a capacity of up to 300 people, offices to support short and long-term production teams, and entertainment areas and spaces.