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Red Sea International Film Festival reveals ‘New Saudi, New Cinema: Shorts’ program  


DUBAI: Saudi talent is once again at the forefront of global culture. Sportswear giant Adidas has just launched its new global brand platform featuring 17 creatives from the fields of food, fashion, art, music and film.

Titled “We Gave the World an Original, You Gave us a Thousand Back,” the campaign enlists several of the Kingdom’s brightest stars, including movie director Ali Kalthami, muralist Noura Bin Saidan and fashion designer Mohamad Bajbaa.

Kalthami’s debut feature film “Mandoob” received rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival and is set to open in theaters across the region in December.

His work with Adidas is his fist with a global fashion brand.

“I’ve been approached several times and I’ve always felt like it was the wrong moment and held myself back,” he told Arab News.

“I was conservative and didn’t want to show my face. Now, I’m hitting my 40s. On my last birthday I told myself to have more fun, and Adidas is such a fun brand to work with.

“Growing up in Riyadh, Adidas was always such a part of our everyday, even in our elementary school days. For me, it stands for being original and innovative, as well as healthy, and all of that is something that’s integral to my life and the lives of so many people here in Saudi Arabia. I didn’t ever expect this to happen, but I’m proud to be a part of it,” he added.

The campaign, held under the Adidas Originals imprint, centers on a number of the brand’s heritage sports shoes, including the Samba, Gazelle and Superstar. Adidas earlier teamed up with Dubai favorite Ravi Restaurant, founded by Chaudary Abdul Hameed, to produce a shoe based on its Superstar brand, which was a worldwide hit.

Saidan said sneakers had become an inadvertent extension of her art, as the pair she wore while making her creations had become splattered with paint.

“Shoes are part of my artwork,” she said. “Especially because every time I complete piece, my shoes transform and get stained as if I’m wearing different shoes.”

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