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Red Sea International Film Festival Day 4 Roundup Release

December 3, 2023

Unfolding on its fourth day, the Red Sea International Film Festival continued its cinematic celebration with a diverse array of events and films that pay tribute to the dynamic film industry. The day was marked by insightful seminars and a dialogue session featuring the esteemed Egyptian actress, Amina Khalil.

The grand screen played host to exclusive screening on both regional and international fronts, notably the world premiere of the series “Miles from Nowhere” and the debut screening of “Cupa 71” in the Middle East and North Africa region. Festival attendees were treated to the first-ever screening in the GCC of Dhafer L’Abidine’s Saudi Film “To My Son”.  

Red Sea Souk Seminars on its Second Day

The Red Sea Souk is a meeting point for filmmakers, providing a platform for emerging filmmakers of international production and distribution companies. Amongst its programs, the Red Sea Souk 360° talks held two seminars that provided unique insights into the reality of television and the importance of blockchain technology in the cinema industry.

The seminars featured interesting titles, namely: “At the end of the television era: Are the number of series declining or increasing?”. In the company of a diverse audience deeply engaged in the craft of creating series and films, the seminar “Is Blockchain Technology Still an Opportunity for the Cinema Industry?” took centre stage. This session aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of blockchain technology spotlighting its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Notably, the discussion emphasized how blockchain can serve as a powerful tool in enhancing copyright protection and countering the challenges of unauthorized movie piracy.

The Souk further hosted the second communication session titled “Elite International Professionals”. This session underscored the pivotal importance of nurturing collaboration among filmmakers within the region and fostering connections with key players on the global stage. Participants seized the opportunity to engage with international decision-makers shaping the production landscape, gaining insights into various forms of co-production with different countries, the incentives they offer, and the respective financing systems associated with each.

The Journey of Red Sea Labs Ends With the “The Lodge” Program

The Lodge program of Red Sea Labs draws its educational journey to a close, concluding a transformative ten-month expedition. Participants marked the final stage by presenting their projects to a select audience, including financiers, investors, distributors, producers, and international industry experts. It’s noteworthy that the esteemed Red Sea Lodge program, generously sponsored by Film AlUla, continues to nurture emerging filmmakers.

Egyptian Actress Amina Khalil Shines in Dialogue: Unveiling Creative Motivations and Cinematic Journeys

Prominent Egyptian actress Amina Khalil captivated the audience as she shared her creative motivations and inspirations during an engaging dialogue session, highlighting the luminous figures who have paved the way in the film industry. Deeply immersed in her diverse film characters, Amina delved into her favorites, revealing a special affinity for dramatic roles. Briming with joy over her time in Jeddah and her role as a juror, Khalil lauded the burgeoning Saudi talents unveiled at the Red Sea International Film Festival.

Stardust on the Red Carpet: Cinematic Gems and Heroic Journeys

On the fourth day of the Red Sea International Film Festival, the red carpet played host to the luminaries of “To My Son,” marking its debut as the first exclusive premiere in the GCC countries. Notable attendees included the film’s director, Dhafer L’Abidine and the film’s lead actor Ibrahim Al-Hasawi. Extending a warm welcome to the ensemble on the red carpet was Mohammed Al-Turki, the CEO of Red Sea Film Foundation.

The cinema hall witnessed the screening of this poignant film, which narrates the story of Faisal, a British citizen of Saudi origin residing in London with his seven-year-old son, Adam. Following the passing of his wife, Angela, Faisal makes a sudden decision to return to Saudi Arabia, setting in motion a transformative journey that will forever alter the course of their family’s lives.

“To My Son” provided a unique cinematic experience, as it marked L’Abidine’s first role a Saudi in a film, the majority of which was shot in the breathtaking city of Abha.

Furthermore, the audience was treated to the MENA premiere of the documentary film “Cupa 71,” graced by the presence of its director, Rachel Ramsay. The documentary delves into the events of 1971 when FIFA controversially refused to recognize the inaugural women’s World Cup, exploring the enduring impact of this decision. Jomana R. Alrashid, the Chairwoman of the Red Sea International Film Foundation, and Mohammed Al-Turki, the CEO of Red Sea Film Foundation, were among those who welcomed the director on the prestigious red carpet.

World Premiere of the series “Miles from Nowhere”

Attendees of the Red Sea International Film Festival were treated to the premiere of the New Zealand drama and comedy six-part series, “Miles from Nowhere” in its exploration of a Muslim diaspora hitherto barely glimpsed on the screen.

This series narrates the tale of Saeed, a youthful Muslim songwriter residing in Auckland, New Zealand. The narrative unfolds as he forges a perilous friendship with an intelligence security service agent that is spying on him. Guided by Director Ghazaleh Golbakhsh, the storyline traverses a dark yet optimistic path, interweaving humor and music – about the tribulations of youth, overcoming mental illness and ultimately finding a unique place in the world.

Screening of the Egyptian classical musical film “VICTORY OF YOUTH”

In collaboration with Art Jameel Foundation, an archival exhibition titled “Norotona: The Illuminating Legacy of Asmahan and Farid Al Atrash” has been unveiled at Hayy Cinema in Hayy Jameel located in the neighborhood of Al Mohammadiyyah in Jeddah. This exhibition, held in commemoration of the treasures of Arab cinema, showcases rare archival materials including original posters, unique photographs, and personal belongings of the siblings Asmahan and Farid Al Atrash, which were presented to the public for the first time.

The exhibition also featured a screening of the recently restored classic Egyptian musical film “VICTORY OF YOUTH” (1941), courtesy of the Red Sea Film Foundation and Egyptian Media Production City, presenting a cinematic masterpiece staring the iconic duo Asmahan and Farid Al Atrash, renowned for their exceptional voices and musical prowess, in their first film appearance together.