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'It's a beautiful day' Oscar nominated Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour celebrates cinemas getting licenses come 2018

 Come 2018 and public cinema is all set to make a comeback in the conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

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"Short Film Competition 2" at King Fahad Culture Center in Riyadh in October 2017
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 Come 2018 and public cinema is all set to make a comeback in the conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The first cinema is likely to open early next year. "As the industry regulator, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media has started the process for licensing cinemas in the Kingdom," Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad said in a statement. "We expect the first cinemas to open in March 2018."

Saudi Arabia had put a ban on cinema in the 1908s under the influence of Islamist extremism. 

The Gulf News report revealed that rules on film screenings have been relaxed in recent weeks with some screenings as a precursor to the official lifting of he ban. While extremist believe cinema as a threat to cultural identity, the artists have argued in the times of Internet and YouTube, director have found a way to showcase their work. 

In the times of ban on public cinema in their own homeland, Saudi female director Haifaa Al Mansour had received first Academy Award nomination for Saudi Arabia. She took to the Twitter to celebrate the good news.

( With inputs from Reuters)

 

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