Five Saudi women directors working on ‘Untitled Omnibus Feature’ introduced, with project set for world premiere at inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival

Five Saudi women directors working on ‘Untitled Omnibus Feature’ introduced,  with project set for world premiere at inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival 


Funded by the Red Sea International Film Festival, the film furthers the Festival’s commitment to daring new work by Saudi auteurs, supporting women in the creative industries with roles in all stages of production 


13 January 2020, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia | The Red Sea International Film Festival introduces the five women directors brought together for a major new anthology film. ‘Untitled Omnibus Feature’ is produced and funded by the Red Sea International Film Festival, and produced by Jeddah-based production house Cinepoetics Pictures. 


The project is a major platform for Saudi women in the film industry and is set to debut at the inaugural Festival in March 2020. The Saudi directors creating the project’s five short films are Hind Alfahhad, Jowaher Alamri, Noor Alameer, Sara Mesfer, and Fatima Al-Banawi. Award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Suha Arraf is screenwriting supervisor on the portmanteau film. 


The five directors were selected following a pitching process. The Red Sea International Film Festival worked with Saudi production company Cinepoetics to attract a diverse range of stories created by established directors and promising newcomers. The final five projects were selected for their engaging narratives and strong female leads, with their stories representative of the distinctive voices found across the Kingdom. 


The production crews assembled across the main team, as well as for each short, are women-dominated, including two out of three coordinating producers, and four out of five producers on the film teams. 


The project sees the directors realize their proposed shorts in an intensive, collaborative effort, driven by women. Hind Alfahhad commented, “it has been a unique experience participating in a film alongside fellow Saudi women directors, all telling stories around womanhood in distinctive ways.” Noor Alameer added, “the process of making this film, as a writer and director, was challenging. But seeing the idea come to life was the most satisfying feeling.” 


Festival Director, Mahmoud Sabbagh said: “We believe in film’s capacity to advance diversity and integration. Supporting innovative new works is central to this mission. There is no better way to work towards this than by creating opportunities for Saudi filmmakers to tell their own stories. This project provides powerful first-person accounts of contemporary life in Saudi, from Saudi women, at a time of fascinating change.” 


Each women-centered narrative is an intimate character portrait. Together, their varied settings and storylines display the diversity of the Saudi contemporary film scene, with the directors hailing from across the Kingdom and the films set in cities, including Mecca, Medinah, Jeddah, and Riyadh. 


As filming wraps, the teams move on to post-production, ahead of the world premiere at the Red Sea International Film Festival in March 2020. The screening is a component of the Festival’s broad program of Saudi content, curated to encourage international audiences to encounter fresh work from the Kingdom. 


Established in 2019, with its inaugural edition taking place from 12–21 March 2020, the Red Sea International Film Festival is an annual event held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jeddah’s Old Town, the Festival is committed to building a solid foundation for the film industry in Saudi Arabia, and to building connections between the Arab region and the world. 


For more information, please contact: 


[email protected] 


Red Sea International Film Festival 

Red Sea Film Festival restores two rare films by late Saudi photographer Safouh Naamani.

Restored version of “The Pilgrimage to Mecca” (1963), and Glimpses of Jeddah”; a film composed of archival footage starting from 1954, will both premiere at the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival, March 12-21, 2020. 


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 18, 2019 – The Red Sea International Film Festival will honor Saudi photographer and cinematographer Safouh Naamani (1926-2016), one of the pioneers of color photography in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The festival will publicly present for the first time a rare documentary made by Naamani in 1963 on the journey to Hajj, in addition to a movie compiling never before seen film footage of the city of Jeddah, taken with Naamani’s personal camera between 1954 and 1968. 


“The Pilgrimage to Mecca” is a 35-minute color documentary film, developed at the William Palmer laboratory in San Francisco, about the pilgrimage to Mecca, filmed during the 1963 Hajj season. 


Naamani used his extensive knowledge of the holy city of Mecca to deliver an authentic perspective. The documentary captures Mecca’s inspiring landscapes and religious rituals while presenting the journey of pilgrims to Mecca. Previously, the film has screened in private or limited shows, and so will now be presented publicly for the first time. 


“This discovery rewrites the history of national cinema in our country,” Festival director and CEO, Mahmoud Sabbagh said. “Discovering a film that was made in 1963 and that is complete in all aspects and production adds an original element to the story of Saudi cinema.” 


The festival also presents for the first time a cinematic panorama of the city of Jeddah, captured by Naamani between 1954 to 1968 on his 16mm camera. The rare collection of footage documents the history of urban transformations that the city went through during the fifties and sixties. 


The Red Sea International Film Foundation was able to develop and restore five reels of raw film belonging to Naamani at a film restoration lab in Munich, Germany. The restored footage has been edited into a short 30-minute film, which will debut at the 2020 festival. 


Scenes from the film “Glimpses of Jeddah” range from the celebrations of the return of King Saud after receiving medical treatments abroad in 1954; as well as footage of commercial life in the port of Jeddah. Naamani was also able to capture rare shots of the coastline along the ancient port of Punt. As well as Al-Bay’a square, the Jeddah Palace Hotel, and the Bakashab building. The film also contains rare footage of the creation of Gold Street in 1964. 


Sabbagh says, “We are expanding our history with new narratives of Jeddah’s metamorphoses through rare cinematic documentation captured by the late filmmaker Sufooh Namaani. It’s as if Namaani knew his work would be vital for generations to come”. 


Naamani is one of the pioneers of photography and filmmaking in Jeddah, KSA. He started selling cameras and photography equipment in 1952 at his family-run “Al Naamani Stores” on King Abdulaziz road, before establishing “Studio Safouh” located in Abdullah Alfaisal building for portrait photography and photographic film development. 


Restoring the work of Safouh Naamani and presenting it to a Saudi audience is a key component of the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation, which is tasked with reviving, preserving and highlighting the heritage of Saudi cinema for modern audiences. 


For more information, please contact: 


[email protected] 


Red Sea International Film Festival 

Red Sea International Film Festival partners with Cairo International Film Festival to support Arab filmmakers

The Saudi-based festival will select a Cairo Film Connection project from the fiction projects-in-development category to attend the inaugural Project Market of the Red Sea Souk from March 13-16, 2020 


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 22 November, 2019: The Red Sea International Film Festival will award an opportunity to a team of Arab filmmakers attending the Cairo Film Connection to participate in the inaugural Red Sea Souk, the international industry market taking place in Jeddah, from March 13–16, 2020. The partnership between the Red Sea International Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival is an acknowledgement of their shared aim in supporting a new and exciting generation of Arab filmmakers. 


One project will be selected by The Red Sea International Film Festival team from the fiction projects-in-development category. The winner will be announced during the Cairo Film Connection Award Ceremony taking place on November 26 at 6 pm at the 41st Cairo International Film Festival. 


The chosen project’s director and producer will be awarded registration, travel, and accommodation to attend the Project Market of the Red Sea Souk, where they will pitch their project to more than 150 industry leaders. A total of 20 teams will participate in the Project Market, including 12 developed through the Red Sea Lodge. Pitching sessions will be followed by three intensive days of one-on-one meetings, with the best projects securing funding and backing for their films. 


The Red Sea International Film Festival’s industry program is a major opportunity for international film executives to connect with the regional and local film industry. Programs including workshops, talks, masterclasses, and networking to build business between the Arab region and the world and generate awareness of the Saudi and Arab film scenes amongst new audiences. 


The Red Sea International Film Festival is dedicated to supporting and showcasing Saudi, Arab, and international films, with a program reflecting the best of current world and regional cinema. Applications from new and established voices in film are encouraged and are open until 28th November 2019 via 


For more information, please contact: 


[email protected] 


Red Sea International Film Festival 

Red Sea International Film Festival announces 12 projects selected for development at the Red Sea Lodge

Projects selected by an international committee from over 120 submissions 


12 teams of filmmakers from across the Arab world to undergo intensive development workshops in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab 


Production funding totaling one million dollars available for two projects 


30 September 2019, Jeddah: The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced the 12 winning projects for development at the inaugural Red Sea Lodge.


An international committee chose the winning teams out of 120 submissions, drawn from 16 countries. Female directors helm a third of the 12 successful projects, and over a quarter have female producers. 


The selection includes six Saudi teams alongside projects from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, demonstrating a commitment to furthering new work from the Arab world. The twelve teams of filmmakers include emerging directors making their first or second feature films, as well as more established names presenting new ideas and concepts. 


The films will compete for two US$500,000 production prizes, with a world premiere opportunity at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2021. 


The Red Sea Lodge is committed to the new wave in Arab cinema. Designed to train and mentor the next generation, it develops artistic and creative development, as well as production and promotion strategies. 


Organized in collaboration with the acclaimed TorinoFilmLab, the comprehensive program includes three workshops in Jeddah’s historic district. Led by industry experts in directing, cinematography, sound, and post-production, the Lodge will explore every stage of filmmaking, from script consultations to a commercial focus on financing, sales, and audience engagement. 


The program creates meaningful industry opportunities for all participants, commences in October 2019 and will culminate during the Red Sea International Film Festival in March 2020. 


The committee comprised of industry veterans, including: Mahmoud Sabbagh (Festival Director, Red Sea International Film Festival), Julie Bergeron (Head of the Red Sea Souk), Antoine Khalife (Director of the Arab Program, Red Sea International Film Festival), Jane Williams (Head of Industry, TorinoFilmLab), and Savina Neirotti (Executive Director, TorinoFilmLab). 


They were supported by a team of readers, including Fahad Alestaa (Saudi Scriptwriter and Film Critic), and leading media figure Layaly Badr (Arab Radio & TV Network). Saudi producer Jumana Zahid leads the Festival’s development program, as Manager of the Red Sea Lodge. 


Through unique storytelling styles, the Saudi projects set themselves against significant socio-political and economic underpinnings, including the discovery of oil and the siege of the Holy Mosque in 1979. The projects also diversely explore women’s struggle and modern-day challenges to mental health, such as loneliness and isolation. 


The selected projects: 


Saudi Projects 


1. Practicing Polygamy 


Directed and written by Malak Qouta 


Produced by Bentley Brown 


An animated feature-length documentary exploring the customs, traditions, and daily reality of polygamy in Saudi Arabia. 


2. Dr. Adly’s Smile 


Directed by Ali Alsumayin 


Written by Fatima Albanawi 


Produced by Sarah Elnawasrah 


Who saves who when there is family turmoil? When Dr. Adly’s mental health declines after getting divorced, his daughter Basma puts her life on hold to rescue him from his own delusions. 


3. Four Acts of Disruption 


Directed and written by Hussam Alhulwah 


Produced by Mohammed Alhamoud 


As Arab Bedouins and foreign prospectors meet, the future of the newly founded Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be shaped. This conflict of vision and tradition is told through the stories of Saudi Ayad and American geologist Roy. 


4. When the Star is Falling 


Directed and written by Mohammed Salman Alsaffar 


Produced by Mousa Althonian 


One woman, one kingdom, many interconnected narratives. Short, linked vignettes jump through time and place to tell the story of a culture and a life shaped by diverse landscapes – from the traditions of the desert to the modern tumult of the city. 


5. A Trip to Disney 


Directed and written by Maha Alsaati 


Produced by Hussain Slam 


The journey of a jilted lover. Abandoned in Saudi, a woman travels to Florida, anxious to encounter the man who has left her behind. Finding herself in the Disney empire, she discovers she is not his princess. 


6. Sharshaf 


Directed by Hend Alfahhad 


Written by Manal Alawebeel 


Produced by Talal Alharbi 


Tracking the shockwaves of the 1979 Grand Mosque Seizure, a catastrophe that curtailed social and cultural freedom in Saudi Arabia, through the life of a typical middle-class woman, Haila and her love of film. This is the story of a nation and a generation. 


Arab Projects 


1. Inchalla it’s a Boy (Jordan) 


Directed and written by Amjad Alrasheed 


Produced by Aseel Abu Ayyash


Grieving the sudden death of her husband, Nawal must confront the realities of inheritance laws which rule that, without a son, she stands to lose the home she bought for herself and her daughter. 


2. A Journey of Bullets and Bread (Egypt) 


Directed and written by Mohammad Hammad 


Produced by Mohammed Hefzi and Kholoud Saad 


When a chance encounter between wild Awad and the shy, intellectual Youssef forges an unlikely friendship, their lives become tangled in acts of fate and betrayal. 


3. Scheherazade Goes Silent (Palestine)


Directed and written by Amira Diab 


Produced by Raya Aburub 


Tragedy forces Shams to confront choices amid strict expectations. As she prepares to star in a dance piece based on 1001 Nights, she must live with decisions that put her at odds with her society. 


4. The Basement Notes (Lebanon)


Directed and written by Hadi Ghandour 


Produced by Habib Attia and Molka Mheni 


In defiance of militant forces who have captured their city, three brothers form a band. As their music spreads underground, a desire for recognition puts their lives at risk. 


5. I Am Arzé (Lebanon)


Directed by Mira Shaib


Written by Louay Khraish 


Produced by Zeina Badran. 


Desperate for money to buy the scooter that will allow her to work, single mother Arzé steals a gold bracelet from her sister Layla. Now she’s got wheels, she’s getting along better with her son Kinan – until he discovers the scooter is stolen. 


6. The Arabic Interpreter (Iraq) 


Directed and written by Ali Kareem


Produced by Khalid Abu Sharif 


Hassan is a frustrated actor; unable to find work in the theatre, he takes a job as an Arabic-German Interpreter so he can stay in Berlin. Listening to the refugees’ harrowing stories, Hassan relives the wars he experienced in Iraq. 


For more information, please contact: 


[email protected] 


Red Sea International Film Festival 

Film Submissions Open for the Inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival

Submissions open until November 15, 2019, for the inaugural Festival March 12–21, 2020 


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 17, 2019: Submissions are open for the inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival. Entries are invited from September 17, 2019, until November 15, 2019, for a program presenting a distinctive selection of international, Arab, and Saudi feature-length, short and immersive works. The Festival will take place in the ancient Jeddah Old Town in March 2020. 


Submission details and conditions can be found via the Red Sea International Film Festival website

at, and are open via Eventival from September 17, 2019 until November 15, 2019. 


In Competition is an international program, celebrating innovative approaches to storytelling, judged for cash prizes in the Yusr Awards by a jury of global cinema leaders. International films must have Middle East premiere status, and Arab films are required to be original works by emerging and established filmmakers, with special attention given to promoting films from the Global South. 


The Yusr Awards offer cash prizes totaling $250,000 in diverse fields, including directing, screenwriting, and acting. The awards are designed to recognize daring, elevate new voices, and encourage film culture in Saudi and the region. 


For short filmmakers from the Arab World, there’s also a Golden Yusr and a cash prize for the Best Short Film. The Red Sea Shorts Competition is for filmmakers from the Arab World, a section where audiences can encounter contemporary creativity from the region’s filmmakers and artists of any discipline. 


A pioneering program exploring Saudi cinema called: New Cinema/New Saudi will make an introduction to vital filmmakers and artists from the Kingdom’s energetic new cinema wave. 


Tajreeb is the home for Saudi-made, extroverted, impressionistic narrative, documentary or animated films that capture the zeitgeist. 


The Festival’s setting in the UNESCO-listed, ancient coral labyrinth of Jeddah Old Town will be transformed through Immersive Cinema experiences, including Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. 


For more information, please contact: 

[email protected] 
Red Sea International Film Festival 

Red Sea International Film Festival announces up to three million dollars in cash prizes, mentoring, and production funds

$350,000 in cash prizes to be awarded at the  Red Sea International Film Festival. 


Bait Al Montage post-production fund of $100,000. 


Up to $3,000,000 in support for emerging Arab talent, including $1,000,000 towards the Red Sea Lodge, $1,000,000 towards the Tamheed Fund. 



Competition to design the Golden Yusr Trophy. 


The competition will take place at the inaugural  Red Sea International Film Festival March 12–21, 2020 


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 28 August 2019: The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced cash prizes totaling $350,000 to be awarded at the inaugural Festival taking place in Jeddah from March 12–21, 2020. There will be $250,000 in cash prizes for films In Competition and $100,000 as part of the Bait Al Montage post-production fund. 


The competition cash prizes reward cinematic excellence from around the world, emphasizing innovation and daring expression. The International Competition runs across six categories with winners chosen by a jury comprising eminent international film figures. 


The Golden Yusr Trophy for Best Feature carries a $100,000 cash prize and the Silver Yusr Trophy for Best Director is presented with $50,000 in the International Competition. 


A Silver Yusr Trophy will also be awarded for Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Cinematic Contribution. 

An additional Golden Yusr Trophy awarded for Best Short Film attracts a $50,000 finance award for a future project plus a 3-month creative residency in Old Town, Jeddah. 


The Best Short Film prize is part of the Red Sea Shorts Competition, featuring the most exciting contemporary voices from the Arab world, including student directors, first-time filmmakers, and contemporary Arab artists from diverse disciplines. 


There will be an Audience Award carrying a cash prize of $50,000. 


The Golden Yusr Trophy takes its name from the black coral formations found off the Red Sea Coast. An international competition to design the award, open to artists, will be announced shortly. 


The details of mentoring and production funds were also revealed, showcasing the Festival’s commitment to extolling talents with daring storytelling approaches from the Arab world. 

A new post-production fund, The Bait Al Montage Fund, supports up to six Arab films with grants totaling US$100,000. The grantees will be revealed during the Red Sea Souk, the Festival’s Industry Days, taking place March 13-17, 2020. 


The announcement demonstrates the Festival’s support for a sustainable regional film industry, adding to the existing Red Sea Lodge – an intensive five-month mentoring and training program for twelve teams of Arab filmmakers.


Delivered in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab in the lead up to the 2020 Festival, two participants will be awarded grants of US$500,000 each following an ‘in Festival’ pitch to a jury of industry leaders. 


Also supporting production, the one time TamheedFund will realize two new Saudi feature films bestowing grants of $500,000 each.


The enthusiasm of the local film scene was demonstrated in an overwhelming number of submissions, with The Book of Sun by Faris Godus and Forty Years and a Night by Mohammed Alholayyil selected. The films will be premiered at the inaugural Festival in March 2020. 


Another production initiative is the $400,000 funding of a special Omnibus presenting up to 6 short films made by Saudi women filmmakers.

This articulates a commitment to new voices in Saudi filmmaking, encouraging stories from and by the Kingdom’s women.

The short films will be shown as a collective at the 1st edition of the film festival. 

Red Sea International Film Festival to host a masterclass with legendary Egyptian director KhairyBeshara in Jeddah on 14 December

A Khairy Beshara retrospective featuring newly restored 4K versions of his classic films to play inJeddah,Riyadh and Dhahran from 14 – 16 December. Launch of a new biography on Beshara by film critic Mohammed Sayed Abdulraheem.


December 10th, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The Red Sea International Film Festival will welcome legendary Egyptian filmmaker Khairy Beshara to Jeddahfor a masterclass, which will take place on Monday 14 December at Muvi, Mall of Arabia, Jeddah.
Beshara will share his professional experiences reshaping the Arab film industry over four decades in amasterclass moderated by Antoine Khalife, head of the Festival’s Arab Film Program. The conversation willdraw on Beshara’s innovative and inimitable filmmaking to consider:
“Renewing cinema through plots, story andperformances.”Masterclass attendees will also have the bonus of attending a book signing for a new biography on Beshara,The Rebel, written by film critic Mohammed Sayed Abdulraheem, that places Beshara at the centre of Arabcinema and features never-before-seen archival images.The masterclass and book launch will kick-start a three-day retrospective of Beshara’s acclaimed films that willtake place across Saudi Arabia in Dharan, Jeddah and Riyadh from 14-16 December.
The retrospective willfeature never-before-seen 4K versions of five of his most adored films that have been lovingly restored by theRed Sea Foundation. The celebration also marks the first time that these classic works of Arab cinema willscreen in cinemas in the Kingdom.Looking ahead to the masterclass, book launch and retrospective screenings, Beshara commented, “It’sinteresting to me, and perhaps to you, to recall and reflect on 57 years of my life in cinema and beyond.”
Born in 1947 in Tanta, Egypt, Beshara grew up in Cairo and began making short films and documentaries inthe 1970s, garnering him the title “Star of Documentary Cinema. In the 1980s, Beshara became a leadingfigure of the Egytpian “Neo-Realist” movement. He worked on films alongside many well-known writers such asAbdel Rahman el-Abnudi for The Collar and the Bracelet (1986) and Fayiz Ghaly for Sweet Day, Bitter Day(1988), and collaborated with film stars such as Ahmed Zaki, Sherihan and Faten Hamama. In the 1990s hewould gain further acclaim for instigating folk fantasy films into Arab cinema and was one of the first Arabdirectors to venture into digital filmmaking.
Retrospective – Five classics by Beshara in three citiesMuvi Theatres in Dhahran, Jeddah, and Riyadh will screen five classic Beshara films restored by the Red SeaFilm Festival Foundation in 4K. The screenings are the first cinematic presentations of Beshara’s work in SaudiArabia.
The retrospective will commence with one of the most iconic films in Egyptian cinema history, The Collar andthe Bracelet (1986), a searing dramatic thriller, acclaimed for its unflinching social commentary and poetic style.
Screening in Jeddah on Monday 14 December.Bitter Day, Sweet Day (1988) is a portrait of Egyptian society reshaped by the forces of globalization, throughthe story of widow Aisha, her five children, and a manipulative and controlling son-in-law. A moving look atpoverty and drastic social change on an individual’s values and ambitions. Screening in Riyadh and Dhahranon Tuesday 15 December.Ice Cream in Gleam (1992) is a film of hope against the odds, staring the legendary Amr Diab as Saif. Workingin a video rental store, Saif dreams of another life, making his name in music.
But fate seems to have otherplans – he’s fired and lands in jail. There, he meets and forms a trio with a songwriter and infamous musician,discovering his aspirations still reach the hardest of places. Screening in Dhahran, Jeddah, and Riyadh onTuesday 15 December.Set in 1973, Abracadabra America (1993) follows a hapless group as they flee Egypt after the October War,attempting to emigrate to America. Arriving at their first stop on the Hungarian border, they discover they’vebeen conned. To survive, they must learn to overcome their differences.
Screening in Dhahran and Riyadh onMonday 14 December; Jeddah on Tuesday 15 December.A remarkable film shot entirely on the busy streets of downtown Cairo, Traffic Light (1995) is a glimpse ofmid-90s Egyptian society, reeling from the changes of globalization.
At a stop sign, on hold for a passing VIP, agroup finds themselves at emotional and social ‘crossroads’ – a love story blossoms, a baby is due, and a manis on fire. Screening in Dhahran, Jeddah, and Riyadh on Wednesday 16 December.
Please find below the full schedule for film screenings and locations.
JEDDAH: Mall of Arabia
Monday 14 December 21:30 The Collar and the Bracelet
Tuesday  15 December 19:00 Abracadabra America
Tuesday 15 December 22:00 Ice Cream With Gleam
Wednesday 16 December 19:00 Traffic Light
RIYADH: Nakheel Mall
Monday 14 December 21:30 Abracadabra America Tuesday 15
December 19:00 Ice Cream With Gleam Tuesday 15
December 22:00 Bitter Day, Sweet Day Wednesday 16
December 19:00 Traffic Light
DHARAN: Mall of Dhahran, Shargiya
Monday 14 December 21:30 Abracadabra America Tuesday 15
December 19:00 Ice Cream With Gleam Tuesday 15
December 22:00 Bitter Day, Sweet Day Wednesday 16
December 19:00 Traffic Light
For registration & more information please visit

The Red Sea International Film Festival in Collaboration with the Misk Art Week Present: Safouh AlNaamani: Preserving Time – an exhibition of photography and world premiere of a restored archival documentary.

December, 2nd, 2020 – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,


The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation will host an exhibition celebrating the work of photographer and cinematographer Safouh AlNaamani (1926-2016) and a screening program of contemporary Saudi and Arab cinema as part of Misk Art Week 2020, taking place December 3–7, in Riyadh at Prince Faisal bin Fahad Fine Arts Gallery. 


The exhibition, Safouh AlNaamani: Preserving Time, which will remain open until the 10th of January 2021,presents rare photographs and restored archive films dating from the 1950s and 1960s, charting a significant period in Saudi’s urban and cultural development.  


At Misk Art Week 2020, the Red Sea International Film Festival will publicly present the world premier of the restoration of “The Pilgrimage to Mecca,” AlNaamani’s remarkable 35-minute color documentary filmed during the 1963 Hajj season. 


Throughout Misk Art Week, the Red Sea International Film Festival will present contemporary feature and short films from Saudi Arabia and the Arab world with filmmaker Q&A sessions. On Thursday, 3rd of December, there will be a panel discussion moderated by Omar Almuqri who will be featuring filmmakers Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan, Hend Alfahad, and Abdulelah Alqurashi discussing whether locally produced films are reflective of regional culture and identity. 


The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation is proud to present photographs & restored films of Safouh AlNaamani, one of the pioneers of color photography in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as these wonderful contemporary Arab films at Misk ART Week 2020, which this year is exploring Culture Re-Cultivated. The collaboration is part of the Foundation’s commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage alongside contemporary expression. 





Film Program 


Panel discussion | Thursday, 3 December 19:15 – 19:45 


Do the characteristics of locally produced films reflect local culture and identity? 

Panelists are Abdulmohsen AldhabaanHend Alfahad and Abdulelah Alqurashi. 

Moderated by Omar Almuqri. 


Last Visit | Thursday, 3 December 20:00 


A conflict between father and son played out across three generations looks at the generational divides reshaping Saudi society — the debut feature from film critic and producer Abdulmohsen Aldhabaan. 


1982 |  Friday, 4 December 20:00 


Oualid Mouaness’ touching debut set told through an 11-year-old schoolboy’s innocent gaze chronicles an afternoon in June 1982 when the onset of war forever changed Lebanese history. 


Short Film Program | Monday 6th & 7th December  20:00 


Goin’ South 

Newlyweds pay their first visit to the groom’s hometown, only to discover they come from different worlds. 



An ageing man prepares for his grandson’s wedding in an ever-changing Beirut – a city he no longer recognizes. 


For more information please visit: 

The Red Sea International Film Festival To Showcase Exciting New Films Exclusive Tajreeb screenings debut online this month

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia18 November 2020   

The Red Sea International Film Festival is excited to announce digital screenings of its Tajreeb program. Originally chosen for the inaugural Red Sea Film Festival, Tajreeb aims to showcase the talent pool emerging in new Saudi cinema. 


Tajreeb is punk at its core; freeing filmmakers from any sense of constraint, allowing creatives the opportunity to do anything imaginable from behind the lens of the camera. Filmmakers accepted into the program find themselves surrounded by like-minded advocates of their craft and passions. Hailing from different regions of SAUDI ARABIA, these films are of different genres and lengths. 


The 11 selected films will screen online over the course of 2 weeks, running from the 18–30 November on the Red Sea Film Festival’s YouTube channel. Each film will be available for one week. 


The Tajreeb films will appear every other day from the 18th until the 30th of  November.  


The full schedule is detailed below: 

Wednesday 18th at 5 p.m. – ShameDirected By Abdulla AlBin Hamdha  

Wednesday 18th at 9 p.m. – A Diy Of A Dream 101 Directed By Qamar Abdulmalik  

Saturday 21st at 5 p.m. – Nonself Portrait Directed By Asad Badawi  

Saturday 21st at 9 p.m. – Extraction Of Lunar Directed By Lulua Al Dehaiemi  

Monday 23rd at 5 p.m. – The Time Has Come Directed By Ayman Al Ali 

Monday 23rd at 9 p.m. – Algari Directed By Ahmed AlHasawi  

Wednesday 25th at 5 p.m. – Dissonance Directed By Moodi AlZamil  

Wednesday 25th at 9 p.m. – Breath Directed By Razan Alsagheer  

Saturday 28th at 5 p.m. – Remember Me Directed By Mohammed Hammad  

Saturday 28th at 9 p.m. – Color Of Sunset Directed By Haidar Daoud 

Monday 30th at 5 p.m. – The Sleep Sun Station Directed By Anhar Salem  



All times are in Arabian Standard Time (AST). 



To view the Tajreeb screenings, visit 


The Red Sea International Film Festival is headquartered in Old Town Jeddah, a historic district in the Kingdom’s Western region. The Red Sea International Film Festival is a pivotal part of the growing worldwide interest in films made by Arab filmmakers. Through their various programs, they provide crucial funding, guidance, and visibility to the next generation of Saudi filmmakers. 


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Media Contact  

Rana Zedan, Red Sea International Film Festival PR Coordinator 

New competition the 48Hr Film Challenge supports aspiring filmmakers to write, shoot and produce a short film in just two days

October 8, 2020, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 

The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced a new short film competition designed to challenge and support aspiring Saudis and Saudi-resident filmmakers to produce new works. The challenge will take place in October, with three days of mentorship followed by an intensive 48-hours where the selected teams will write, shoot, and edit their short film from scratch, working around a set theme and incorporating surprise elements. 

A collaboration between The Alliance Française, The Consulate General of France in Jeddah, The French Embassy in Riyadh, the Red Sea International Film Festival, and La Fémis, applications are invited from teams of Saudi-based creatives aged 18–25, with between two to five participants, led by a Saudi director or scriptwriter. The shortlisted teams will be selected, enjoying three days of workshops that will equip them with the knowledge and expertise to develop their film, from idea to final cut. 


Award winning actress and lawyer Hend Sabry will be the President of the Jury, among other jury members. Film director Lisa Sallustio, Film director, writer and teacher Brice Cauvin, award-winning writer/director Faizah Saleh Ambah, and film director/producer Mohammed Al hamoud. 


The challenge will culminate in November with screenings. The jury will award two teams 48Hr Film Challenge trophies designed by the artist Rabi Alakhras.The winning team leaders will go on to enjoy an educational and professional tailored-maid residency program with french renowned cinema operators, during 2021. 


“The competition is about creating new content, invigorating the burgeoning Saudi film community, and equipping the next generation with the knowledge and experience to create their own work. Despite the challenges of this year, it is vitally important to continue to inspire and push the next generation of filmmakers.” said Hend Sabry president of the jury. 

Hend Sabry Hend Sabry is an award winning actress, lawyer and a mother, she has starred in more than 30 awarded films across the Arab world. Her career began in 1994 when she starred in Silences of the Palaces winning the best actress award in Carthage film festival at the age of 15. Her latest works are NOURA’s dream and the Blue Elephant ( Part 2) Sabry is also a producer , she is also active in social and humanitarian work as the UN goodwill ambassador for the world food programme (WFP)  

Lisa Sallustio studied political science in Brussels at the age of 18 before entering INSAS in theatre staging in 2011. In September 2016, she integrated the filmmaking department at La Fémis. Lisa wrote theatrical forms and directed short films and documentaries. The last one, produced in Belgium by Dérives Asbl, has been released in 2020. 


Brice Cauvin is a film director, a writer and a teacher, Brice studied literature, linguistics and cinema. He has been in the film industry for 25 years in France and abroad. He has been teaching for more than 15 years at La Fémis and was appointed Head of the Directing department in 2017-2018. 


Faiza Saleh Ambah is an award-winning writer/director and former Washington Post correspondent. Her film MARIAM (2015) won numerous awards, including the Oscar qualifying prize at Athens Ohio Film Festival Faiza took part in the Rawi/Sundance labs and has a certificate in feature-film writing from UCLA and did a summer program at the USC cinema school. Faiza is currently editing her film NourShams, shot in Jeddah earlier this year. 

Mohammed Alhamoud  founded Last Scene Films, a Riyadh-based production house specialized in producing independent arthouse films such as Last Visit (2019), the first Arab film to be selected at the Karlovy Vary IFF’s East of the West Competition and winner of the Jury Award at Marrakech IFF. Currently, Alhamoud is developing Four Acts of Disruption, which recently won a development fund from the Red Sea Lodge. 

Full details and entry requirements can be found via