Prominent British filmmakers unveil plan to share Saudi life with international audiences

By Anas Alyusuf

JEDDAH – Two prominent British directors – Georgina Paget and Thembisa Cochrane – unveil their ambitious plan to share Saudi life with international audiences by undertaking joint projects.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, they revealed that they will be shooting their first Saudi joint venture film, written and directed by acclaimed Saudi director Ahd Kamel, in Jeddah in 2022.

“We want to share our international experience with Saudi women. We are so excited to see Saudi Arabia changing so much and we would like to be a part of this monumental change by sharing stories and inspiring Saudi women, ”they said.

Paget and Cochrane are the producers of “The Color Room”, a British drama film, which premiered at the Red Sea Gala Theater here on Sunday night. Kerry Fox, the film’s lead actress, also accompanied them to attend the Red Sea International Film Festival.

Paget and Cochrane have said the film is directed by women. “We are the producers and its screenwriter Claire Peate and director Claire McCarthy are also women, and the story is also about women. If women have dreams and they have the will to make those dreams come true with actions with with the support of other women and members of society, they can achieve great things for everyone, ”they said.

UK producers said it was fabulous to see so many young Saudis enter the film industry. “It’s amazing to be in the midst of a laughing and crying Saudi audience as they actively engage in films. The young volunteers are also very helpful to anyone coming from outside the Kingdom, guiding us with enthusiasm all around.

They praised young filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region for their passion for the film industry. “It’s wonderful to see many young female directors from the Kingdom and the Arab region as well. Lots of films about women from the region and international stages are screened at the festival, ”they said.

For his part, Ahd Kamel told the Saudi Gazette that the new film “My Driver and I” tells the story of an unusual friendship she had with her Sudanese driver and its impact on her life. Referring to the Saudi project, Paget and Cochrane said they will shoot the film in Jeddah in 2022.

The film highlights a young woman who grew up in Jeddah in the 80s and 90s and who became an artist with a little focus on the life of director Kamel herself who wrote the screenplay and also became the director. “In the process of preparing for the shoot, we learn more about Saudi society because it is complex like any other society made up of people of all kinds. We are learning more about each other besides sharing Saudi life with the international audience as well, ”they said.

The Color Room is a biopic of a ceramist, which highlights the central idea that the modern woman is turned towards the future and not towards the past. The film is inspired by the life of British ceramic artist Clarice Cliff.

The film, directed by Claire McCarthy from a script by Claire Peate, highlights the struggle of women to be heard in what is otherwise a triumphant talent welfare story. Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor plays Cliff, who rose to prominence in the 1920s by introducing modern patterns and colors to the traditional English pottery industry.

Pottery employed many women in largely menial roles, but Cliff managed to impress an eccentric factory owner so much with her ingenuity that she was allowed to design her own line and ultimately run her own studio.

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