June 19, 2024


Cello, the under-the-radar English and Arabic-language horror movie shot in Saudi Arabia by Saw filmmaker Darren Lynn Bousman received its world premiere this week at the Muvi Cinema in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Oscar winner Jeremy Irons (House of Gucci) and Saw star Tobin Bell lead the cast alongside Syrian actor Samer Ismail (The Day I Lost My Shadow) and Saudi actress Elham Ali (Ashman) in the story of an aspiring cellist who learns that the cost of his brand-new cello is a lot more insidious than he first thought. 

The film was written by Turki Alalshikh, the current Chairman of the General Authority for Entertainment of Saudi Arabia. The film was produced by Rozam Media, Alamiya, and Envision Media Arts. Producers report the film has pre-sold over 15,000 tickets for the upcoming opening weekend in the Arab region. The pic will debut stateside on December 8.

The Saudi premiere was attended by Bousman (Saw II, III, IV, Spiral) and producer Lee Nelson (The Ice Road). Others in attendance included stars Elham Ali, Samer Ismail, Suad Abdullah, Ibrahim Samman, Muhanad Al-Hamdi, Fahad Alqahtani, Baraa Alem, and Ghassan Massoud as well as co-producer Raul Talwar and executive producer Niko Ruokosuo. 


“Getting to experience the movie in Riyadh with a packed audience was surreal. I have been so lucky in my career to shoot all over the world, and Cello took me to Saudi Arabia, Prague & Ireland,” Bousman said following the debut screening.  

“It was such a fantastical adventure getting to work and play in such different and unique areas. We had the great fortune to work with superstars of the Arab region. Then, add Jeremy Irons and Tobin Bell into the mix it & was a once in a lifetime experience.” 

Nelson added: “The production was comprised of an international team of artists from all over the world. Our 250-person crew came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Canada, Italy, Egypt, Africa, India, Ireland, Tunisia, Jordan, Dubai, and the UK. It was such a humbling experience to be at the center of so many talented people at the top of their trade.  It was a truly global collaboration.”


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