Skip to content

The 48Hr Film Challenge invited young, aspiring Saudi and Saudi-resident filmmakers to create a short film in just two days. The competition was a collaboration between The Alliance Française, the French Consulate in Jeddah, and the Red Sea International Film Festival. Designed to prompt curiosity, and innovation, and develop burgeoning film talent, the 48Hr Film Challenge saw the creation of intriguing shorts, in an imaginative race against the clock. The organizers invited applications from teams of creatives aged 18–25, comprising up to five participants and led by a Saudi director or scriptwriter.

In July 2023, selected teams received an intensive two-day mentorship, with workshops in short film production. They then embarked on the 48Hr Film Challenge. Working around set themes, and with the inclusion of an unknown scenic or prop element, revealed just before the shoot, each team worked to beat the deadline, shooting and editing a short film of three to six minutes duration.
The challenge culminated with screenings in August 2023, where two teams were awarded 48Hr Film Challenge trophies. The winning team leaders will go on to enjoy a residency in a film event in France in 2024.

  • By getting together a minimum of two and up to five people. (We welcomed entries from aspiring filmmakers of all levels, and embraced first-timers too!)
  • Ages 18 to 25 – Saudi nationals or Saudi residents.
  • The team leader was required to submit the form on behalf of the team.
  • The team leader – either the director or script writer – had to be a Saudi national.
  • We wanted to know more about them and their motivations – they were requested to send us a letter (in English) of no more than 1000 words.
    • Telling us why they wanted to be involved in the 48Hr Film Challenge,
    • What they would bring to it,
    • Why they wanted the chance to compete for a residency in France.
  • A short script (written with the suggested themes, or a script they had written previously) – Submitting a script was optional.
  • Links to previous film or multimedia work, if found.

Completed and submitted this form by the 24th of June, 2023 

  • Teams had to shoot a short film of 3–6 minutes duration, it could be fiction or nonfiction, narrative or documentary.
  • It explored at least one of the following themes: de-coding, playing, creating, or thinking.
  • There was also a sub-theme to include – from memory, time, technology, or breath.
  • Teams enjoyed a two-day online briefing, mentoring, and workshops program. This was an invaluable learning experience where they learned about everything that goes into writing, producing, and filming a short. It equipped them with the knowledge and technical guidelines to complete the challenge. It took place July 21st & 22nd, and all participants were required to attend (except for the writing workshop, which was specifically for the writer and director) – entry was not allowed otherwise.
  • Participants were required to have their own financial resources to produce the film, including all necessary funding and equipment. They could use any camera for filming, including their smartphone cameras.
  • Shooting the challenge took place July 28th & 29th But there was a twist! All shortlisted teams faced an imaginative challenge – 24 hours before the shoot, we introduced a new element, and they were required to include it in their films. It could be anything – from a small object or artifact to a more significant scenic element like a tree.
  • This was a creative challenge, and demanded new work! That meant the teams could not reuse a film, script (or any footage) previously developed.
  • The film audio had to be in English. However, teams could shoot their films in Arabic, under the condition that they had to be subtitled in English or French the day after the challenge.
  • If the film was shot in English (or without dialogue), no translation was required.
  • Once the teams wrapped up, the team leader was to submit the film on behalf of the team.
  • After the shoot, all organizing partners (Alliance Française, the French Consulate, and the Red Sea International Film Festival) had the right to use the film for screening, marketing, and communication purposes.
  • The jury reviewed all films, with two teams awarded the 48Hr Film Challenge Trophy.
  • A screening of the films and the award ceremony took place in August.
  • The two winning team leaders will go on to a residency program in France in 2024.
  • In the event of unforeseen circumstances or force majeure causing the competition to be canceled, the organizers could not be held responsible vis-à-vis the candidates, for any reason whatsoever, and would be exempt from all charges (e.g. reimbursement of costs incurred). For reasons of organization and consistency, these regulations could be amended. In the event of any substantial changes, the organizers were to notify the candidates as soon as possible.
  • The winners consented to transfer, without reservation, the copyright they held in the works produced for the competition to the organizers. They consented to accept – for the purposes of the competition – the reproduction of their work, by any digital, sound, audiovisual, or multimedia means. This copyright cession was granted and maintained even in the event of a change in the winners’ professional or personal situations.
  • Any content considered inappropriate or plagiarized could lead to disqualification from the 48Hr Film Challenge.
  • Filmmakers agreed to all interviews, photography, and video promotional material required by the Red Sea International Film Festival. The shortlisted contestants were featured across all promotional campaigns (including media, social media, and on partner websites) in connection with the 48Hr Film Challenge.
  • Applying for the 48Hr Film Challenge was considered consent for their image and likeness to be used.