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Red Sea Film Foundation Backs Three International Features

August 24, 2023

Invests in Academy Award Nominee Michael Mann’s Ferrari, Premiering at the80th Venice International Film Festival, Academy Award Nominee Johnny Depp’s Upcoming Feature Modi and BAFTA Nominee Guy Ritchie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

The Red Sea Film Foundation, the overarching organisation behind the Red Sea International Film Festival (Red Sea IFF), has supported three features through its Red Sea International Film Financing arm. The investments include four-time Academy Award nominee Michael Mann’s Ferrari which will premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, Academy Award nominee Johnny Depp’s hotly anticipated Modi, starring Riccardo Scamarcio, Antonia Desplat with Al Pacino and BAFTA Award Nominee Guy Ritchie’s WWII spy action feature The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

Since 2019, the Red Sea Film Fund has supported the development, production, and post-production of 170 films from the Arab world and Africa and will continue to do so through its funding grants – while the Red Sea International Film Financing label focuses on investment in commercially and creatively exciting projects from global talent. Red Sea International Film Financing projects also provide aspiring Saudi Arabian filmmakers with educational opportunities to enhance their craft through Red Sea Labs’ inaugural “On Set” programme. As the pilot production for the programme – Modi will welcome interns to set for an invaluable, hands-on training experience. Trainees will be offered hands-on engagement across various departments including Art, Camera, and Production.

Mohammed Al Turki; CEO of the Red Sea IFF, said: “Red Sea International Film Financing is a vehicle for us to support out acclaimed storytellers, great directors, and create the opportunity for cultural exchange. Following on from our first international co-production with Maïwenn’s highly anticipated Cannes opener Jeanne Du Barry, we are immensely elated to be playing a part in the debut of Michael Mann’s powerful biopic of Enzo Ferrari, which has been over two decades in the making and is a passion project in every sense of the word, as well as supporting the making of Johnny Depp’s fascinating window into the artist Modigliani’s life and work, and which puts Depp back behind the camera, and Guy Ritchie’s propulsive exploration of WWII renegades through The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.”

Highly anticipated biopic Ferrari is the passion project of iconic director Michael Mann (HeatThe Last of the Mohicans). Behind the spectacle and danger of 1950s Formula 1, ex-racer Enzo Ferrari is in crisis – bankruptcy stalks the company he and his wife, Laura, built from nothing ten years earlier. Their tempestuous marriage struggles with the mourning for their one son. Ferrari struggles with the acknowledgement of another, while his drivers’ lust to win pushes them out to the edge. He wagers all in a roll of the dice on one race, the treacherous 1,000-mile race across Italy, the iconic Mille Miglia. 

The film stars Adam Driver in the role of Enzo Ferrari, Penélope Cruz as Laura Ferrari, Shailene Woodley as Lina Lardi, Jack O’Connell as Peter Collins, Sarah Gadon as Linda Christian, Patrick Dempsey as Piero Taruffi and Gabriel Leone as Alfonso De Portago.  Michael Mann directs Ferrari from a script by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari – The Man and the Machine. Mann is also producing via his Moto Pictures banner alongside P.J. van Sandwijk and Birdman producer John Lesher, as well as Marie Savare, John Friedberg, Lars Sylvest, Thorsten Schumacher and Gareth West.  

Modi is Academy Award Nominee Johnny Depp’s latest foray into feature directing since 1997’s The Brave whichsaw him nominated for a Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Modi is centered on the life of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani and stars Riccardo Scamarcio, Antonia Desplat and with Al Pacino. Taking place over 48 hours, the feature is based on Dennis McIntyre’s play “Modigliani”, which has been adapted by screenwriters Jerzy and Mary Kromolowski.

On the run from the police, Modi’s desire to end his career and leave the city is dismissed by fellow Bohemians: French artist Maurice Utrillo, the Belarusian-born Chaim Soutine and his English muse and lover, Beatrice Hastings. Modi seeks advice from his Polish art dealer and friend Leopold Zborowski, but the chaos reaches a crescendo when he’s faced with a collector who could change his life.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is an outrageous true story about UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s and Ian Fleming’s secret WWII combat organization. This clandestine squad’s unconventional and entirely ‘ungentlemanly’ fighting techniques against the Nazis significantly changed the course of the war and gave birth to the modern Black Ops unit. Ritchie will reimagine the WW2 action adventure into a franchise for modern audiences. The script by Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, Arash Amel and Ritchie is based on war correspondent and military historian Damien Lewis’ best-selling book of the same name. Tamasy and Johnson initiated the project and sold it as a pitch to Bruckheimer and Paramount in 2015. The film stars Henry Cavill, Eiza González, Alan Ritchson, Henry Golding, Alex Pettyfer, Cary Elwes, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Babs Olusanmokun, TilSchweiger and Henrique Zaga.