The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is often a misunderstood country in the Middle East.
Despite the land's essence of beauty, many hold stereotypes of it as a country of oppression and strict rules, many of which against women. Of course, with society taking a different shape nowadays, and equality becoming a forefront topic of discussion, there are gradually more people disagreeing with how things are done in Saudi Arabia.
However, truth be told, the Muslim Country isn't as rigid as many believe it is, and this new film will break most stereotypes about Saudi Arabia that society might have led you to believe.
The movie will tell the story of a young King Faisal Al-Saud, the third king of Saudi Arabia who was brutally assassinated by the son of his half-brother, during his trip to the UK on a diplomatic mission when he was just 13-years-old.
The film's producer Andre Vicente Gomez told Arab News that he hopes the movie would eliminate everything we initially thought about the country.
“There are a lot of stereotypes about the country. If the film will surprise the Saudis, then imagine the European or American reactions,” Gomez said.
Gomez had many attempts in the past to create a film based on the Kingdom, but he faced many red flags due to the strict content policy the country has.
He told the publication that he first wanted to make an animated movie about spirits (jins), but Saudi Television and the Ministry of Culture said his idea might be controversial, considering the fact that "in the Quran, there are some jins that are good and others that are not so good.”
But this didn't discourage Gomez to keep trying, and two years after being denied the right to produce the animated film, he made a musical in Spain titled “The Last Horseman,” which was inspired by a Saudi story.
His interest in the Kingdom started after he visited Saudi in 2010, and since then, he started diving into the history of the country, and read all the books he could get his hands on. He eventually came across the story of King Faisal and decided it would be a great idea to bring his story to light through a film.
“I thought it would make a great movie, but not a biography of King Faisal — just the London trip. The story of a young boy coming of age, going to the city and encountering this new world,” Gomez explained.
Writing the script for Born a King was a strenuous process. Gomez was adviced to get the approval of the rest of the royal family, even after contacting and getting in touch with Prince Turki, the chairman of the King Faisal Foundation.
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. "BORN A KING" . An extraordinary real life story set in 1919 about the 13 years old prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al saud, who was on a high stake diplomatic mission to secure the formation of his nation. During that mission the young prince had to negotiate with some of the world prominent political figures of the age. . The movie was shot in various locations including Riyadh and it will premier in Saudi cinemas by the end of September 2019! . . . #riyadhtours #bornaking #
Gomez's 12-page script finally got approved a month later, but his struggle didn't stop there as he had to ensure the accuracy of all the details. Luckily, with extensive research and Prince Turki's guidance, the script was edited to be as accurate as possible.
The movie was filmed in London and Riyadh, with 75 percent of the scenes produced in London. Due to the intense heat in Saudi, they had to wait for the autumn season to fall before they could even attempt to film in Riyadh.
The filming in Riyadh took place in Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahad’s farm in Diriyah, “it’s like a reproduction of Saudi Arabia 100 years ago.”
Born a King will premiere in theatres across the Middle East on September 26th.