SAUDI ARABIA

Kandahar: Saudi cinemas showing Hollywood action thriller shot in AlUla

May 25, 2023
The Hollywood feature film was predominantly shot in AlUla, with its deserts and oases serving as the backdrop for the film’s intense action sequences.
The Hollywood feature film was predominantly shot in AlUla, with its deserts and oases serving as the backdrop for the film’s intense action sequences.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The screening of the highly anticipated Hollywood action thriller Kandahar opened began in Saudi cinemas on Thursday.

The film, shot almost entirely in the Kingdom, premiered at Vox Cinemas in Riyadh on Wednesday evening. Vox Cinemas will also be hosting a special screening of Kandahar at the Banyan Tree Hotel in AlUla, surrounded by the region’s spectacular outdoor scenery.


The film, featuring Hollywood star Gerard Butler, was directed by Rick Roman Waugh. MBC Studios, G-Base, Thunder Road and Capstone Studios produced the movie.

UAE’s Eagle Films is set to release Kandahar in the entire Middle East region on May 26.


The Hollywood feature film was predominantly shot in AlUla, with its deserts and oases serving as the backdrop for the film’s intense action sequences. The Saudi Film Commission is involved in the film’s production in the country which began in 2021 and ran until 2022.

Locations in Jeddah serve as city scenes for Tehran and Herat, while the scenic AlUla region depicts rural Afghanistan. The film's screening is undertaken in cooperation with Film Al-Ula, the film agency of the Royal Commission for AlUla, which was established to promote and support international film and TV production in the Kingdom.

Butler plays Tom Harris, an undercover CIA operative, stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. Based on a true story, the film centers around Butler, a grieving CIA operative, and his translator, who, after an intelligence leak dangerously exposes a covert mission in Afghanistan, must find their way out of the desert, outgunned and hunted by elite Special Forces.

Along with Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal, Travis Fimmel, Elnaaz Norouzi, Rebecca Calder, Hakeem Jomah, and Nina Toussaint-White are other star actors in the movie.


May 25, 2023
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