>> You could say these girls are now in the right place at the right time, but they took a huge gamble enrolling in this course. They're students in Saudi Arabia's only film school, in Jeddah, now in the throws of a plot twist. Now, it may seem strange to have opened a film school in a country where, until this year, cinema was banned.
But these students will graduate in different times as the country undergoes the biggest cultural shake-up in its modern history. Movie theaters are opening across the country under a liberalizing reformed drive that's already opened the doors to concerts, comedy shows, and greater freedoms for women. This is also just a girls' school, and the students have had to fight hard to be accepted.
>> My father, at first, he couldn't accept the idea of cinema school, because he wouldn't understand. He kept saying that there are no cinemas here. You're not gonna find a job. It's going to be super hard. Also, you would have to work with guys a lot.>> The program here opened in 2013.
The head of the course tells me they've had to keep a low profile from the religious police and local community, who might have opposed men teaching women to make films. To protect the course, they called it Visual and Digital Production. But now, with changing attitudes, they're renaming it to reflect what they're really teaching here, Cinematic Arts.
Only recently have the students been able to take their cameras off-campus.>> Now, with time, it's easier. We got the approvals. We get the licenses. We go out and we can shoot. Before there was a problem if we had camera in the malls, we were not allowed to enter the malls.
But things are getting smoother now when we have access, when we have permissions. It gets easier, it gets better, and people are more accepting. They want to see what we are doing.>> Our assignment for today->> By opening cinemas, the authorities are building an industry, it hopes will contribute more than $24 billion to the economy and create 30,000 jobs.
And the relaxing of restrictions is sure to help boost homegrown productions. The girls just got a much bigger assignment.