Middle East

Saudia completes 2022 Hajj operation

RIYADH: On May 22, the Saudi short film ‘The Whaler’ won the Science Award at the 2022 Nice International Film Festival in the South of France.

The film chronicles the lives of Saudi Arabian fishermen and showcases the beauty of the kingdom and its marine world to audiences around the world.

Through Abu Hilal, a revered elder in Yanbu’s fishing scene, we offer a unique insight into past and present generations of fishermen known as ‘Hawata’ (Arabic for ‘whaler’).

A coastal industrial city on the Red Sea, Yanbu is strategically located near the Suez Canal.

Filmmaker Saleh Bukamseen told Arab News:

Bukhamseen is a self-taught underwater cinematographer with eight years of experience. He combines his passion for diving and filmmaking to create unique films that highlight the beauty of the ocean, its creatures and our relationship with humans.

“I wanted to capture the spirit and determination of those who make a living from marine life. Are we aware of it? Hawata will show you!” said Bukhamsheen.

He has worked on several projects for the Saudi government, including a film promoting tourism, and produced a short documentary.

“When you combine talent and passion, there are no limits. Being a writer, producer, director, underwater cameraman and editor all at once takes a lot of effort, but with teamwork you can achieve great results.” — Wael, his photographer.

Bukhamseen said he was first inspired to shoot the film when he started diving and saw the life and beauty beneath the surface of the Red Sea. He said he caught on film what he couldn’t explain in words.

At just 12 minutes long, ‘The Whaler’ will be released to the world once its film festival tour concludes. Bukhamseen said it took him five months to prepare, shoot, edit, and present these minutes to the audience and panelists.

The Nice International Film Festival, now in its 10th year, is held annually in Nice, France.

The week-long event allows aspiring independent filmmakers to showcase their work to audiences around the world.

“The Nice International Film Festival has strict standards covering originality, creativity, film quality, storytelling and editing,” Bukhamsheen said. “‘Hawata’ was judged by a panel of international film experts to assess whether the film deserves to win the trophy.”

Audiences will be presented with films throughout the week of the festival. It concludes with a prestigious ceremony in which highly talented filmmakers, screenwriters and actors receive awards in their respective film categories.

Bukamsheen told Arab News that he was proud to represent his country, Saudi Arabia, and urged all aspiring filmmakers to follow their hearts, hone their technical skills and, above all, respect the environment. We encourage you to respect it.

Besides “The Whaler,” he has made three other films, “Plastic Inferno,” “Strange Neighbor,” and “Patient’s Minaret,” all of which are environmental documentaries.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/2142586/saudi-arabia Saudia completes 2022 Hajj operation

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