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 redseafilmfest.com 

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