Saudi Arabia’s First Cinema School Is Paving The Way For Women In The Kingdom


Female students from the Effat University in Jeddah spoke to Reuters about their joy once the ban on cinemas were announced to be lifted months ago. From ‘visual and digital production’, their course title is now being renamed to “cinematic arts”, and that’s just one of the many advantages already exuding after the announcement. 

“Everything is about to change”

Student Sama Kinsara told Reuters that her university can now drop the old name of her course, as there would be no need to stay under the radar of religious police or anyone opposed to the idea of women filming movies.

The women-only course even allows students to now film outside university grounds 

It is the first time in the Kingdom that students were able to film outside their academic grounds and students at Effat are one of the first to enjoy this benefit. Studying in a women-only course, one that takes four years to complete, the transition of this course from 2013 up until now is a massive one. 

The head of Effat’s Visuan and Digital Production Department, Mohamed Ghazala, told Reuters that “a girl carrying a camera and shooting in the streets is pushing boundaries.” 

These changes come after most reforms made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the last year 

The vision for Saudi Arabia by 2030 is to open at least 300 cinemas and have a solid film industry within. This venture will result in 30,000 job opportunities that will further add value to the economy. 

And apart from sports, driving and more women rights- the movie industry is just waiting for opportunistic Saudi women to come and take advantage. 

This new Saudi Arabia is definitely one to keep track off. 


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