Saudi film producer and philanthropist Mohammed Al Turki has finally staged a premiere of one of his films in his home of Saudi Arabia. His new film Crisis, a thriller starring Gary Oldman, Evangeline Lilly and Michelle Rodriguez, had two premieres recently, one first in Dhahran in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province and another in Saudi’s capital city of Riyadh the following day.
“Finally brought Hollywood home,” Al Turki exclaimed on Instagram. The film, which opened across the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently, explores the United States’ opioid crisis.
Speaking to Esquire MiddleEast, Al Turki said:” I never expected to have a special screening for a film I worked on in Hollywood in a cinema two minutes away from my house. It was wonderful to have my parents, their close family friends, and members of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce, a bunch of elite businessmen, and the support of the US Consul Nicholle Manz-Baazaoui, who also attended.”
For the Riyadh premiere, Al Turki was joined by Saudi’s Vice Minister of Culture Hamed Fayez, as well as the CEO of the Saudi Film Commission Abdullah Al-Qahtani, along with several Saudi actors.
Al Turki added: “In 2012, almost ten years ago, I brought my film Arbitrage to open the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. The movie was chosen to open the festival because of me being from the region working on a Hollywood film. Now, 10 years later, I finally had my film premiere in Saudi with a wonderful audience and government officials.”
Previous films Mohammed Al Turki has made include 99 Homes (2014), directed by Ramin Bahrani and starring Andrew Garfield; Desert Dancer (2104), about the life of Afshin Ghaffarian, and starring Frieda Pinto, and Oren Moverman’s film Time Out of Mind, starring Richard Gere.