Red Sea International Film Festival to host Saudi Cinema Nights in Jeddah

Eslam Omar , Monday 7 Jun 2021

The highlights of the event include the world premier of 'Carnaval City' and the Arab premier of '40 Years and One Night'

The Red Sea International Film Festival

Five months before the anticipated inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival, a two-day event titled ‘Saudi Cinema Nights’ will be hosted in Saudi Arabia’s coastal city of Jeddah on 16 and 17 June, hosting a number of feature and short films by some of the Islamic kingdom’s filmmakers.

Saudi Cinema Nights will open on Wednesday with an Arab premiere and panel discussions of director Mohammed Al-Holayyil’s ‘40 Years and One Night’ (2020); a tense family drama which celebrated its world premiere at Malmö Arab Film Festival after it was awarded the Red Sea International Film Festival Tamheed award in 2020.

One day later; audiences will attend the world premier of Wael Abu Mansour’s ‘Carnaval City’ (2021), in the presence of the directors and cast members. Starring Mohammed Salama, Nada Al-Mojadedi, Naif Al-Dufairi, Abdulelah Al-Qurashi, Sarah Taibah, among others. The film revolves around the desert road journey of the characters Masoud and Salma where they have no destination and no plans to return.

A number of acclaimed Saudi short films will be also screening on Thursday, including Husam Al-Sayed’s ‘And When Do I Sleep?’ (2020), Hisham Fadel ‘Ongoing Lullaby’ (2020), Sarah Mesfer’s ‘The Girls Who Burned the Night’ (2020), and Mohammed Al-Hamoud’s ‘Goin’ South’ (2019).

“The two-day public programme brings together filmmakers, the film industry, and film lovers from across the kingdom in Jeddah, the home of the Red Sea Film Foundation, for a celebration of the most exciting emerging voices in the Saudi film scene,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

Rescheduled due to the pandemic; last month, the Red Sea International Film Festival called for submissions to its first edition, scheduled for November in Jeddah, inviting filmmakers from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world.

With submissions open until mid-August, among various categories announced are special competitions for Saudi filmmakers that include funds for projects under development.

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