RIYADH — The screening of highly anticipated Hollywood action thriller Kandahar opened to the public in Saudi cinemas on Thursday. The film, shot almost entirely in the Kingdom, was 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, is directed by Rick Roman Waugh. The film was produced by MBC Studios, G-Base, Thunder Road and Capstone Studios. UAE’s Eagle Films set to release the film 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 backdrop for the film’s intense action sequences. The Saudi Film Commission is involved in the film’s production in the country that began in 2021 and ran until 2022.

Locations in Jeddah serve as city scenes for Tehran and Herat, while the scenic AlUla region depicting rural Afghanistan. The film screening is undertaken in cooperation with Film Al-Ula, the film agency of the Royal Commission for AlUla, that 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, andn Nina Toussaint-White are other star actors in the movie.

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