Film Festival

Ithra Reveals Two New Films at Cannes Film Festival

Ithra commissioned films Sea of Sands by Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy, and Valley Road by Saudi award-winning independent filmmaker Khalid Fahad.

Ithra Reveals Two New Films at Cannes Film Festival

The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is revealing two new films as part of its participation at the Saudi Pavilion, which is hosted by the Saudi Film Commission, at the 74th edition of the Festival de Cannes 2021. Celebrated Egyptian screenwriter and producer Mohamed Hefzy will introduce his Ithra commissioned film Sea of Sands (working title) alongside the unveiling of Saudi award-winning independent filmmaker Khalid Fahad’s Valley Road. The move forms part of Ithra’s strategic commitment to nurture and develop talent across the Kingdom’s creative industries. 

Produced under the Ithra Film Productions banner, Sea of Sands and Valley Road are both scheduled for release in 2023. Ithra confirms that the cast and crew for both films will consist of aspiring Saudi talent, thereby nurturing a new generation of film creatives. They follow the successful international release of the experimental 2018 film Joud, an unconventional meditation on the cycle of life, Ithra’s first commissioned film. 

“Ithra Film Productions is a leading indie film producer in Saudi Arabia,” said Majed Z. Samman, head of Performing Arts & Cinema at Ithra and the producer of Sea of Sands and Valley Road. “We support the Kingdom’s growing film industry by nurturing homegrown talent and fostering cinema and filmmaking in Saudi Arabia. We are honored to announce our next two projects at one of the world’s most prestigious film fairs as part of the Saudi Pavilion at Cannes Film Festival.” 

Meanwhile, Fahad’s Valley Road follows the odyssey of Ali, an autistic young man who gets lost on the way to see a doctor in a nearby village. Ali finds himself alone in the middle of nowhere, where a series of obstacles and challenges cannot stop him from discovering the world ahead of him.

Apart from Ithra’s commissioned films, the Center is home to the Saudi Film Production, Saudi Film Days, and the Ithra Film Society, 

Ithra Film Productions has helped dozens of filmmakers bring their dreams to life. As one of the largest film producers in the Kingdom, it has produced 20 films, of which 15 have received local, regional, and international awards.

For more information on Ithra, its programs and Ithra Film Productions, visit


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