Saudi Arabian government trying to broaden the economy and reduce the country’s dependence on oil
Saudi Arabia welcomed back films to its kingdom this weekend, with the first theatrical screenings in 35 years after a ban on cinemas was lifted and screened its first public movie The Emoji.
The Emoji Movie was one of the two films both aimed at children that were screened at a state-run cultural centre in the city of Jeddah and other was Captain Underpants, the First Epic Movie, also released in 2017, but to considerably better critical acclaim.
Theatres were initially shut down during the 1980’s following a wave of ultra-conservatism, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia’s clerics who viewed Western movies as sinful.
The country under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is expected to open theatres as early as March. Until that time, authorities sponsored a temporary theatre in a state-run cultural hall in Jeddah.
The reforms come as the Saudi Arabian government have tried to broaden the economy and reduce the country’s dependence on oil.
The First Epic Movie” in an effort to start things off with the more family-friendly fare, thus preserving the morals that the typically conservative society is worried about while opening the door to a potentially lucrative industry.
However, Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia has lifted its ban, the government will still censor all films to make sure they agree with the country’s cultural standards.
The Emoji Movie is a 2017 American 3D computer-animated science fiction-comedy film directed by Tony Leondis, and written by Leondis, Eric Siegel and Mike White, based on the trend of emojis.
The Emoji Movie premiered on July 23, 2017, at the Regency Village Theatre and was theatrically released in the United States on July 28, 2017, and it was criticized by critics and grossed nearly $217 million worldwide.