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Red Sea International Film Festival Announces The Best Short Films From Emerging Saudi Filmmakers

October 26, 2021

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF), which is set to take place from 6-15 December, today announced its first slate of shorts that will be showcased at the Festival’s inaugural edition.

The 15 announced titles are part of the ‘New Saudi/New Cinema Shorts Program, which showcases up-and-coming Saudi filmmakers, displaying a careful curation of animated shorts, documentary shorts and fiction shorts.

Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the RedSeaIFF said: ‘New Saudi/New Cinema’ is an opportunity for the RedSeaIFF to showcase the diverse aspects of Saudi society, celebrating the creativity, originality of emerging Saudi filmmakers. The Shorts programme in particular allows unique and diverse work to be displayed, and we’re looking forward to sharing these works with local and international audiences.”

Mohyee Qari, Program Manager at the RedSeaIFF, added: “Within ‘New Saudi/New Cinema,’ audiences will be able to find stories told by ambitious, young enthusiastic directors who have the potential to take the Saudi cinema to the next level. Some stories will introduce viewers to the truth of modern-day local cultures, while others will take audiences back to the 1960s or to an imagined future of the 2090s. Common amongst all these fantastic chosen shorts is the chance for audiences to experience stories and life from a distinctly new Saudi perspective.”

In My Dear Fiction, directed by and starring Ahsan Minhas, a man narrates a crazy story about the comedy and dark side of heartbreak, what happens during it and how one could find perseverance after it.

Professional Scammer, directed by and starring Abdul Hameed Hassan Alam, takes the audience to the classic world, telling the story of an unemployed person who tries to steal from people ironically, but finds that fate has something in store for him that he never expected.

The Window of Life is a short and personal documentary, in which director Hayder Dawood attempts to understand broader meanings about life, attitude, emotions, and the environment, by raising questions and exploring the movement inside vehicles.

Hallucinated, directed by Mohammed Basalamah, tells the story of Moayd, a deliveryman, struggling with insomnia. As his insomnia worsens, he becomes unable to distinguish between reality and his hallucinations.

In Little Bird, directed by Khalid Fahad, Malik lives alone in the world, facing fateful challenges in his life.

The Palm Witch, directed by HalaAlhaid, tells the story of two friends who set off in the old city of Riyadh looking for their lost pet, as an evil night which comes after them.

Whisper Down The LaneDirected by Raghad Albarqi, is an experimental, animated short film, exploring the concepts of communication, self-destruction, and the domino effect. It takes the audience on a linear journey, following a string of interconnected phone calls between five individuals that eventually escalate to a bigger conflict.

Red Circle, directed by and starring Abdulaziz Sarhan, is an inspirational and motivating short. It tells the story of a Middle Eastern man, having a hard time telling his simple story to his English storytelling class, as he faces major issues, including comparison, during the writing process.

Panting, directed by Hassan Saeed, Marco finds himself in a maze between reality and virtual reality, as he seeks to meet the girl he met on social media.

Covida the 19thDirected by Omar Al Omirat, showcases another perspective of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. It highlights changing lifestyles, as the public and a family survive quarantine, with their lives, ultimately, becoming better.

Alrufea, directed by Abbas Alshuwayfie, is a documentarythat showcases an old neighbourhood, highlighting the intimacy of the community.

The Jakar, Directed by Abdulaziz Saleh, tells the story of an annual boat race which was held for over 100 years, before being forced off by the construction of Jeddah’s Islamic Seaport. Today, the boats are docked and locked away at what is sometimes referred to as “Al-sanabeek Cemetery”. This is an exciting story told from the perspective of one of the grandchildren of the race’s founders, and the people of the port-side district.

The Day I Lost Myself, directed by and starring Rami Alzayer, tells the story of Salem, who is having a quarter-life crisis. Before an interview, he finds himself stuck in an elevator with an old man, where something happens that changes the course of his life.

Acceptance Land, directed by Mansour Assad, is set in 2096, in a post-World War III world. A homeless maid struggles to take care of a child, in a time where everyone is represented by the colour of their clothes.

Hide and Seek, Directed by Mohammad Helal, revolves around a girl being chased by a demon who makes her friends search for her.

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