Skip to content

Red Sea International Film Festival Announces Juries of its Inaugural Edition

November 25, 2021

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF), which will have its inaugural edition from 6-15 December, today announced the jury selections for its Red Sea: Features and the Red Sea: Shorts Competitions.


Academy Award-winning Italian director and writer Giuseppe Tornatore will preside over the Festival’s five-strong Red Sea: Features Competition Jury, whose members span four continents and are majority female. Tornatore is most famously known for his 1988 Academy Award-winning film Cinema Paradiso. Widely considered as one of the most acclaimed directors in Italian cinema, his career has spanned over 30 years and includes the films Deception, The Legend of 1900 and Malena. He is also known for his longstanding association with Ennio Morricone, one of the most prolific composers of the twentieth century, of whose life Tornatore’s latest documentary, Ennio, tells the story and will enjoy its Arab premiere at the Festival out-of-competition in the International Spectacular selection.


On the jury, Tornatore will be joined by Egyptian-based, Tunisian actress Hend Sabry (The Blue Elephant 2, Silence of the Palace, Noura’s Dream, Asmaa, The Island), Palestinian-American director, writer, actress, and producer Cherien Dabis (Amreeka, May in the Summer), Mexican festival director and founder of the Morelia International Film Festival Daniela Michel, and Saudi film director Abdulaziz Alshlahei (Zero Distance, The Tambour of Retribution).


Giuseppe Tornatore, President of the Red Sea: Features Competition Jury, said: “It is a uniquely special honour to be asked to preside over the jury of any festival’s first edition, let alone the first international film festival to ever take place in a country. There is such a strong selection of films competing in the Red Sea: Features Competition, that are representative of the very best cinema coming from the Arab world, Asia and Africa. I am sure that we will see some truly pioneering and innovative films that will undoubtedly shape the future of international cinema.”


The Red Sea: Shorts Competition Jury will be led by Egyptian director Marwan Hamed (The Yacoubian Building, The Blue Elephant, El-Asliyyin, Lilly). He will be joined on this jury by Saudi Arabian actress and director Ahd Kamel (Wadjda, Collatera, La sainteté) and Finnish-Somali director and writer Khadar Ayderus (The Gravedigger’s Wife, The Night Thief).


The Red Sea: Features and Red Sea: Shorts Competitions will showcase the highest creative achievements from a diverse array of filmmakers from Asia and Africa, including the Arab region. The line-up of 16 features and 18 short films will showcase the most compelling, unique, and impressive work from the past year, with winners in each competition selected by the highly esteemed juries.


Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the RedSeaIFF, said: “We are thrilled to announce the remarkable juries of our inaugural edition. Both juries are representative of the diversity of experience that we wish to emulate at the Festival, as well being such highly accomplished collectives of directors, writers, actors and producers. I looking forward to seeing how the juries work together in honouring some of the truly ground-breaking slate of work in competition.”


The Red Sea: Immersive strand which features a selection of the latest leading Virtual Reality (VR) storytelling and art projects in and out of competition from award-winning international artists and directors, will be adjudicated by an all-female jury of three leading international artists. The jury will be presided over by pioneering American avant-garde artist Laurie Anderson, who will be joined by BAFTA-winning director Victoria Mapplebeck and one of the first Saudi Arabian street artists, Sarah Mohanna Al Abdali.


The inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will run in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from December 6-15, 2021.