Saudi Arabia’s Inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival 2020

Red Sea Fim Festival

Saudi is conducting first independent film festival known as Red Sea International Film Festival 2020. This event is roped by Red Sea Film Festival Foundation in the month of March from 12-20, 2020, held at old town Jeddah. It is a nonprofit organization with an official mandate to promote film culture. Features of this foundation is to empower cinema growing, conduct more cultural events by nurturing audience engagement, supporting movie makers and strengthening movie production/making industry.

This festival was first established by Kingdom’s first Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Farhan Al Saud, under the leadership of director and producer Mahmoud Sabbagh, known for his independent films in Saudi Arabia. This Festival includes people related to movie making, international programmers and thinkers.

Film industry in Saudi is having spark and energy to create a relationship between their culture and tradition in films from past to future. Which in turns bring together inspiring and vital perspectives from across Saudi, Arab region and also across the globe.

Festival Programs:

  • Program Sections
  • First edition
  • Films
  • Opening Film
  • Awards
  • Head of Jury
  • Honorees
  • Festival Poster

For this festival there were some ingredients added to make the show look more attractive like conducting experimental projects, experiencing AR and VR etc. There is something for everyone that push narrative forms and world can explore Saudi film culture complexities in innovative and surprising way.   

Following are some experimental projects which going to be showcased during fest time:

Project NameDirector
Air Conditioner Fradique
Beirut, La Vie En Rose Eric Motjer
Better Days Derek Tsang
Black Milk Uisenma Borchu
Eeb Allay OOO! Prateek Vats
Exil Visar Morina
Le Regard De Charles (Azanvour By Charles) Marc Di Domenico
Los Conductor Camilo Restrepo
Luxor Zeina Durra
Made in Bangladesh Rubaiyat Hossain
Resistance Jonathan Jakubowicz
Shams Alma’arie (The Book Of Sun) Fari Godus

Official Poster of Film Festival:

For every event there will be a pictorial or poster representation to give brief intro of their agenda. So, Red Film Festival also unveiled their official poster of its inaugural edition featuring an image shot by Syrian born artist Osama Esid of Saudi ballerina Samira Alkhamis, which shows like she is emerging from the sea. Representing the wave of change in the region to create opportunities for new generation of film makers in Saudi Arabia.

Line-up and Jury Announced for the first Red Sea Short Competition are:

  • Ahmad Almulla from Saudi Arabia
  • Najla Ben Abdullah from Tunisia
  • Tim Redford from France

Red Sea Festival Director Mahmoud Sabbagh commented: “Short films have a special place in Saudi film culture; it is a format that allows for experimentation and expression. The competition also taps into a lively Arab shorts community to showcase the best of next-generation filmmaking. It’s exciting to welcome Tim Redford, with his global outlook, to helm the jury for the first Red Sea Shorts program.”

Yurs Awards:

These Jury awards includes cash prizes across all categories like screen play writing, acting and directing. Award emblem is taken from a discreet black coral which is found in Red Sea, along the coast of Jeddah’s old town. Each award is different from other awards having unique structure which is designed by sculpture artist.

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