Varying between feature, documentary, animation and short film, the projects - selected from over 650 submissions- include 37 projects in development, 33 projects in production, and 28 projects in post-production; “a line up supported by the Red Sea Fund that aims to create a game changing generation of filmmakers,” as the organisers stated Tuesday.
“These exceptional cinematic works will challenge people’s perceptions of traditional cinema and revive the film industry in KSA and the region,” said Edouard Waintrop, Red Sea International Film Festival Artistic Director, and head of the committee for post-production funding.
The Red Sea Fund “designed to accelerate the growth of the flourishing industry and launch a new generation of filmmakers.”
Taking place from 6 to 15 December in Saudi Arabia, Red Sea International Film Festival selected 16 feature films and 18 short films for its main competitions.
Features Competition Jury will be headed by Academy Award-winning Italian director and writer Giuseppe Tornatore, while the Shorts Competition Jury will be led by Egyptian director Marwan Hamed.
The selection includes titles such as Recovery by Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi, making its premiere, alongside Héliopolis by Algerian director Djaffar Gacem, Their Heads Are Green And Their Hands Are Blue by Jay Bulger, Casablanca Beats by Nabil Ayouch, The Exam by Iraqi director Shawkat Amin Korki, Take Me to the Cinema, a documentary feature from Iraqi director Albaqer Jaafar, and Memory Box, co-directed and co-written by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige.
The festival will also screen Ghodwa, a directorial debut by Tunisian actor Dhafer L’Abidine, who also wrote the script together with Ahmed Amer and stars in the film. Ghodwa will see its world premiere during the upcoming Cairo International Film Festival which will take place just days prior to the Saudi festival.
The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation was established in 2018 and it includes leading Saudi and international programmers, curators, directors, and thinkers.