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Call For Submissions For The Third Edition Of The Red Sea International Film Festival Running Nov 30 to Dec 9,2023

May 11, 2023

The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced that it is accepting submissions for its highly anticipated third edition, which will take place from November 30 to December 9, 2023. Filmmakers and distributors from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, are invited to submit their films from May 5 until Aug 18, 2023.


The festival aims to support a vibrant film community and is dedicated to showcasing the best in global cinema. Established names, as well as emerging Arab, Asian, and African filmmakers across the world, are encouraged to submit their films for the Red Sea: Competition and the Red Sea: Shorts Competition. Saudi filmmakers can also submit their work to be screened as part of the feature and short films strand New Saudi/New Cinema.


The festival’s program will feature eleven curated categories showcasing contemporary international and Arab cinema, Saudi features, shorts, experimental films, and future-oriented AR and VR experiences. The films in competition will compete for the prestigious Yusr Awards, including the Red Sea Golden Yusr Award for Best Film in Competition, which carries a cash prize of $100,000. Other awards include Best Director, the Red Sea Silver Yusr Jury Prize, and the Golden Yusr for Best Short Film.


Submissions are welcomed via the festival’s website in four sections: Red Sea: Competition, Red Sea: Shorts Competition, and New Saudi / New Cinema Features and New Saudi / New Cinema Shorts.


“We are excited to announce the call for submissions for our third edition. We are looking forward to welcoming established and emerging filmmakers from around the world and showcasing the best in global cinema,” said Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea Film Foundation, “With a program that offers a diverse range of categories, we hope to support and strengthen creative connections between Saudi Arabia and the world and provide a vital platform for new talent and established filmmakers alike.”


Red Sea: Competition

The competition values all cinematic forms, from narrative to animation and documentary, featuring works from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world. It presents challenging cinematic works with innovative filmmaking and great storytelling by emerging and established voices, celebrated with generous prizes awarded by an international jury.


Red Sea: Shorts Competition

Featuring works of less than 60 minutes from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, the competition values cinematic works that offer fresh takes and new ideas that tell compelling, diverse and innovative stories in the short film form. Presenting daring productions by emerging and established voices, it’s the place to discover something new and to connect with next-generation creators that push limits across fiction and documentary, with generous prizes awarded by an international jury.


New Saudi/New Cinema

A curated introduction to the most vital new filmmakers and artists from Saudi Arabia. Diverse and dynamic, the voices shaping the scene; from arthouse features and shorts to documentaries, these are the films primed for launch on the international circuit.


In addition to the open categories, there are seven curated sections, including:


International Spectacular

Cinema from around the globe featuring celebrated auteurs and international filmmaking icons. This section will feature some of the most highly anticipated and talked about films of the year shown for the first time in the Arab world.


Arab Spectacular

Find the pulse of Arab creativity in this carefully curated selection of commercial and independent movies, award winners, and regional premieres. This is a celebration of the films and personalities at the heart of Arab cinema.


Red Sea: Festival Favourites

An expansive roundup of the year’s international hits – audience and critics’ favorites hot from the Festival circuit and films discovered and specially curated by the Festival team.


Red Sea: VR

Celebrating technological advances in cinema, from new modes of viewing, immersive experiments, and the latest in audio-visual experiences, this strand features the best in Augmented and Virtual Reality.


Red Sea: Treasures

A focus on the classics, including acclaimed titles from across the ages and across the world. A selection of unmissable gems, these are the masterpieces that have inspired generations of directors – many screened for the first time in Saudi Arabia.


Red Sea: Families and Children

Entrancing stories for children, younger audiences, and families with a big appetite for film, featuring leading studios, networks, and filmmakers from around the globe.


Red Sea: New Vision

Films that stand out with a fresh cinematic vision, addressing unique topics.


Red Sea: Series 

Saudi Arabian premiers of the best in episodic storytelling from around the globe. Up to two episodes of a series from television, streaming, or web platforms. The place to discover the best in episodic, screened for the first time in the Kingdom.