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The names of three Gulf cinema figures to be honoured on April 9 in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the development of the film industry in the Gulf region have been announced by organizers of the second Gulf Film Festival. They are internationally known Kuwaiti director and producer Khalid Sadeeq, veteran Bahraini director Khalifa Shaheen, and distinguished Emirati writer Abdel-Rahman Saleh.
Describing the honourees as stars of the cinema, Festival Director Masoud Amralla al Ali expressed her appreciation for their contributions to the industry. "Most of the activity we see today is due to the tireless efforts, patience, and dedication of the three distinguished figures to be honoured by the festival this year. We are pleased to express our great appreciation for their great gifts to Gulf cinema. Without doubt, the presence and participation of these distinguished figures will be a source of inspiration and motivation for young filmmakers who are continuing the march our cinema pioneers embarked on more than 30 years ago."
Khalid Sadeeq, current head of the Gulf Film Association established in 2000 to support and encourage the Kuwaiti film industry, has directed a number of films including "Bass ya Bahar", which tracks the lives of pearl divers in the period before oil was discovered in the Gulf region, and "Ours Al Zain", an adaptation of the novel by late Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih that won an award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976.
Over the course of his career, cinematographer and director Khalifa Shaheen has represented Bahrain at many international film festivals and has won several awards for his work, the most prominent of which include one for “Sowar Al Jazeera” as Best Documentary presented to him by the prime minister of India, and another for “Onas fi Al Ofoq”, awarded to him by the first lady of the Philippines in 1983.
Finally, Emirati writer Abdel-Rahman Saleh has made significant contributions to the promotion of cinematic culture through his distinguished writings that have formed the basis of many TV series and plays in the UAE, including "Dawaer Al Khours" and "Al Qussa Alleti Lam Tasroudha Scheherazade", which was staged during the first Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) theatre festival.