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Lindsay Lohan to star in 'female empowerment' movie in Saudi Arabia

Lindsay Lohan praised the lifting of the Saudi cinema ban as an "incredible movement" [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 January, 2018

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Reformed Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan is set to star in a movie shot in Saudi Arabia, which aims to capitalise on social and gender reforms in the kingdom.
Actress Lindsay Lohan is to take a leading role in a new "female empowerment" movie being filmed in Saudi Arabia later this year.

The former Hollywood wild child, who now splits her time between New York and Dubai, will star in Frame, directed by Abu Dhabi-based filmmaker Nancy Paton.

Speaking to UAE daily The National, Paton said Frame will be the first movie to embrace the nascent reforms of Saudi society, as well as the gradual liberalisation of women's rights in the kingdom. 

"Female empowerment is high on the [Saudi] agenda with the development of women driving from June 2018," she said.

"Frame will be one of the first Saudi bilingual films that comes out from the country after women start driving and cinema returns, and it will completely focus on female empowerment."

The film will star Lohan as Annabelle, an American photographer who accepts a teaching job at a women-only Saudi university. After moving to the kingdom, Annabelle questions her views on women, marriage and feminism as she mixes with Saudi women.

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Last month the ultra-conservative kingdom announced it was lifting its decades-long ban on cinemas, with the first theatres to open in March.

On Twitter, Lohan praised the reform, saying: "Please support this incredible movement."

Despite strict visa rules and restrictions on women's movements in a male guardianship system, Paton said she was optimistic Saudi Arabia was becoming more accessible.

"By the time we go into production all will be good for a female film crew," she said.

"Exciting times are ahead for women and film and Saudi Arabia and cinema."

Lohan, a former child star who appeared in hit films like The Parent TrapFreaky Friday and Mean Girls, has in recent months publicly declared her interest in Islam, confirming rumours she was studying the religion, but shying away from claims that she has converted.

The actress has also been pictured wearing a headscarf.

Earlier this month the 31-year-old revealed she is making plans to design her own island in Dubai, as part of The World islands – an artificial archipelago designed to resemble the world map.

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