Saudi Arabia set to screen animated movie for the first time in Riyadh

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The Saudi capital Riyadh will witness a significant event on Thursday when a grand film screening takes place for the first time in recently history.

The film will feature as part the cultural events of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation “MiSK”. “Hakaya Misk” Festival will be screening the movie “Bilal” till Sunday, Aug. 20.

The film, which tells the biography of Bilal bin Rabah, prayer caller during Islam's Prophet Mohammed's time, was written by Saudi producer Ayman Jamal in association with international actor Will Smith.

The script took seven years to finalize while the making of the movie took three years.

Writer/producer Ayman Jamal will attend the screening of the film at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center.

The film lined up at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016 with its English version, but it will feature dubbed in Arabic as part of the festival.

Saudi hip hop artist Qusai Kheder (known by his stage name Qusai) gave voice to Bilal’s Arabic character while Jordanian TV presenter Ola Al-Faris did the voiceover for the two main female characters in the film, Ghafira and Hamama. Syrian actor Jamal Suleiman performed vocals for the character Omaya bin Khalaf.

In a previous interview on MBC, Jamal explained that the film comes at a time when Islam as a religion faces accusations of extremism, Bilal aims to show the true face of Islam and clear its reputation.

The English version of the film received a rating of 9.2 on IMDB, surpassing as many as 682 animated films in the theaters at the time.

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