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Red Sea Film Foundation And Art Jameel Announce 3rd Edition Of ‘Documentary Film Days’ At Hayy Cinema In Jeddah

May 30, 2024

  • Captivating titles such as “Hiding Saddam Hussein,” “Songs of the Sufi,” and “The Mother of All Lies”, The Saudi film “Underground” await visitors from 6 to 9 June.
  • The partnership presents an exhilarating lineup of documentary films from across the globe.
  • A roster of workshops and panel discussions with filmmakers and industry experts during Documentary Film Days.

The Red Sea Film Foundation, in collaboration with Art Jameel, announces the return of their summer documentary film programme, now in its third year at Hayy Cinema, Saudi Arabia’s first independent film and audiovisual center in Jeddah. The Red Sea Documentary Film Days is scheduled from June 6 to June 9, 2024, where audiences can explore a lineup of six co-curated documentary films from around the world, featuring a range of themes including biographies, sports, discovery, and more. The program will include a dialogue session with Oscar-nominated Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania, along with a series of panel discussions featuring prominent filmmakers from across the region.

In addition to the documentary screenings, the partnership between Red Sea Film Foundation and Art Jameel will also feature the “Maflam” workshop, followed by a series of screenings of the Keyff Hayak Competition Saudi shorts: “Love Letter”, “Buried Gold”, “Al Hamra Diaries”, and “Cats Dreaming in a Foreign Land”.

The documentaries programee includes six documentaries amongst them are films supported by the Red Sea Fund. The films are driven by a unique directorial vision to present narratives about family relationships, political figures, sports, and music. Leading the selection is “Hiding Saddam Hussein,” a journey into contemporary history as U.S. forces embark on a relentless search for former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The film sheds light on the story of Alaa Al-Namq, Hussein’s personal bodyguard, and his pivotal role in hiding the president for over 235 days. Filmed over a decade due to the necessitated shroud of secrecy, the documentary promises a captivating exploration of this extraordinary chapter in history. Followed by a Q&A with its director Halkawt Mustafa to further enrich the audience’s understanding of the film’s themes and production challenges.

Amidst the cultural shifts occurring in Saudi Arabia, the film “Underground” delves into the authentic stories of Saudi musical talent, exploring their personal journeys, the challenges they encounter in the music industry and the future of music within the Kingdom.

“The Gullspång Miracle”, tells the story of two sisters who buy an apartment in the Swedish town of Golesspong and discover that the saleswoman resembles their deceased sister. The documentary later transforms from a mysterious story into a challenging family drama. “Iraq’s Invisible Beauty” follows Iraqi photographer Latif Al-Ani, who documented Iraq’s modern history through his lens, tracing his journey in recovering his memories and photographs taken over the years.

Through a personal narrative, “The Mother of All Lies:” follows a young Moroccan woman’s search for truth, whose facts are intertwined with a set of lies related to her family history. Asmae the daughter and filmmaker merges her own history with the history of her country, reflecting on the events of the 1981 Bread Revolution, drawing lines of intersection with modern Morocco.

The film “Songs of the Sufi” takes viewers on a musical and artistic journey through the history of “Qawwali”, a genre of traditional Sufi music in the Indian subcontinent, featuring a prominent director and musicians who offer their insights on this ancient art.

Schedule and Showtimes:

June 6

Hiding Saddam Hussein – 7pm

June 7

In-conversation with Kaouther Ben Hania – 6:30pm

The Gulspang Miracle – 7pm

Kef Hayyak? (Short Film Screenings) – 9pm

Underground – 9:15pm

June 8

Iraq’s Invisible Beauty – 7pm

June 9

The Mother Of All Lies – 7pm

Songs Of The Sufi – 9pm

This program is holding its third year running as part of both entities’ common goal of cultivating a thriving independent, homegrown local film scene to ignite a passion for critical reflection and artistic exploration. The “Documentary Film Days” event presents an exceptional opportunity for film enthusiasts and cinema lovers to delve into captivating storytelling, engage with filmmakers, and connect with industry experts.

 For tickets & program details, visit: HERE