Skip to content

Red Sea Fund Backed Films Featured at Toronto International Film Festival  

September 14, 2023

  • The films participated within the “Centrepiece”, “Docs”, “Discovery” and “Special Presentations” programs at TIFF.
  • Several films have already won prestigious awards at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The films highlight original stories from Saudi Arabia, Arab World and Africa.

The Red Sea Film Foundation was present at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF), showcasing five of its backed films from Saudi Arabia, the Arab World, and Africa. These films were screened during the festival period from 7th to 15th September 2023.

TIFF holds the prestigious title of being Canada’s premier cinema hub. The festival is a vibrant blend of screenings, intellectual discussions, workshops, and events, offering a platform for professional development. It provides an incredible opportunity to interact with and learn from renowned filmmakers from around the world.

“Mandoob”, directed by Ali Alkalthami, co-founder of Telvaz11 and renowned Saudi director and producer, is receiving significant attention at TIFF. This dark comedy, which portrays the story of a delivery app driver in Riyadh embarking on illicit late-night adventures and is a highlight of TIFF’s ‘Discovery’ program. Previously, “Mandoob” secured development funding from the Red Sea Fund in 2021 and went on to receive production funding in 2023, making it a notable success story in the Saudi film industry.

Two other films backed by the Red Sea Fund, “Banel and Adama” and “Inshallah a Boy”, are being featured as part of TIFF’s “Centrepiece” program.

“Banel and Adama”, a fascinating tale of two lovers striving for autonomy amidst traditional constraints in northern Senegal, directed by Ramata-Toulaye Sy. This film has already made its mark in the industry, securing a Souk Fund Award and nominations for both the Palme d’Or and Caméra d’Or at Cannes.

The second film, “Inshallah a Boy”, is directed by Amjad Alrasheed. The story revolves around a woman facing unexpected outcomes due to the sudden passing of her husband. The film received production funding from the Red Sea Fund and was awarded the Rail d’Or du Long Métrage award at the Semaine de la Critique at Cannes.

“Four Daughters”, a film by Kaouther Ben Hania, is featured in the “Special Presentations” program at TIFF. The film blends documentary and drama, explores into the mysterious case of two vanished sisters in Tunisia. “Four Daughters” received production funding from the Red Sea Fund and was awarded the Oeil d’Or (Golden Eye Award) and François Chalais Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

In the “TIFF Docs” program, audiences queued for “Mother of All Lies”, a fascinating documentary directed by Asmae el Moudir. The film, which secured post-production funding from the Red Sea Fund, won the Best Director Award in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival and was named Best Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival. El Moudir weaves together personal narratives and national history, unearthing a complex web of lies from her family’s past while drawing parallels between contemporary Morocco and the 1981 Bread Riots.

Mohammed Alturki, CEO of the Red Sea Film Foundation commenting on the occasion: “I would like to express my gratitude to the esteemed panel and selection committee. The success of these five films serves as a testament of the extraordinary talents that we support at the Red Sea Film Foundation. We are happy that these films will have the opportunity to tell original stories from the Arab World and Africa to a wider global audience at the Toronto International Film Festival.”

The Red Sea Fund offers funding to films at all stages of development and production. These cycles of funding are designed to support original voices and new talent, particularly from Saudi Arabia, the Arab World and Africa.