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Red Sea International Film Festival Day 7 Round Up

December 6, 2023

On the seventh day, the Red Sea International Film Festival unfolded a captivating array of events and films, paying homage to the vibrant film industry. The day featured enlightening seminars and three engaging In-Conversation sessions with distinguished personalities: actress Halle Berry, director, producer, and screenwriter Baz Luhrmann, and multi-talented artist Gwyneth Paltrow. The grandeur of the big screen showcased exclusive regional and international screenings, spotlighting remarkable cinematic talents. A momentous highlight was the world premiere of FEVER DREAM and A NOSE AND THREE EYES. Festival goers were treated to a cinematic feast, relishing premieres in the Middle East and North Africa, including BACK TO ALEXANDRIA, ROXANA, OMEN, and LOST LADIES. Furthermore, the Arab world witnessed the premiere of SNOW IN MIDSUMMER, adding an extra layer of cultural significance to the film festivities.

Talent Days Unveiled: Illuminating Cinematic Excellence

As part of the Red Sea Souk, Talent Days was launched on the 7th day of the festival, unfolding a curated two-day program for aspiring filmmakers that encompasses meetings, workshops, dialogues, and other special events led by industry experts to help the filmmakers breathe life into their cinematic visions. Through the program, participants were given insights and exposure into film production, financing, and distribution; allowing them to hone their talents and expand their knowledge for a competitive edge in the international market. The event commenced with a welcoming breakfast and a collaborative celebration alongside NEOM, moving on to the In-Conversation session featuring the godmother of Talent Days, Michelle Rodriguez, moderated by Ibrahim Al Hajjaj, followed by a captivating dialogue led by Rulan Hasan with Margery Simkin, which delved into the intricate craft of actors’ selection. Subsequent sessions explored crucial topics such as environmentally friendly filmmaking and mastering the marketing mechanisms of films.

Masterful Dialogues: 3 In-Depth In-Conversation Sessions with Art, Acting, and Directing Luminaries

On the seventh day of the Red Sea International Film Festival, three captivating In-Conversation sessions unfolded, featuring prominent figures such as Australian director Baz Luhrmann, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and leading star Halle Berry.

In his session, Baz Luhrmann shared his passion for musicals and emphasized the influence of Shakespeare’s timeless tales on his cinematic journey. Gwyneth Paltrow, the Oscar-winning Hollywood actress, offered insights into Saudi Arabia’s transformative journey, expressing optimism and joy. She also delved into developments in the film scene and the evolving role of women in the industry.

During her session, Halle Berry provided a sneak peek into her upcoming film alongside Angelina Jolie. Beyond her festival participation, Berry expressed her intent to explore filming locations in Jeddah for her next project. The Oscar-winning star candidly discussed the prominent challenges she encountered throughout her illustrious career.

Cinematic Elegance Unveiled: Red Carpet Films That Exceed Audience Expectations

 On the seventh day of the festival, the red carpet was graced by the stars of FEVER DREAM, marking its world premiere by the Godus Bros, creators of the acclaimed SHAMS AL-MA’ARIF. The cinema hosted the screening of this eagerly anticipated film, unfolding the narrative of Abdul Samad, a retired football star, notorious and oppressed by the media, as he cooperates with his daughter (Ahlam) in an opportunity to take revenge from those who wronged him on social media. The duo finds an opportunity to work with (Alaa) and (Hakeem), the most famous PR agents for influencers and talents in the country.Together, they work on marketing the largest real estate projects that increases their greed, and with the passage of events, more hidden truths are revealed.

Furthermore, the audience was treated to the screening of A NOSE AND THREE EYES, a world premiere attended by the film’s director and crew. Adapted from the novel of the same name by the late writer Ehsan Abdoulkoudos, the film unfolds the life of Hashem, a prominent plastic surgeon in his late 40s entangled between three women. Seeking insight, Hashem consults a psychiatrist to explain his attraction to Ruba, a much younger woman managing his social media account. As the plot thickens, Aliaa questions if Ruba resembles Hashem’s mother, prompting her request for him to write a memoir about his previous relationships. Initially hesitant, Hashem’s doubts fade away when he encounters a past passion outside Aliaa’s clinic, bringing clarity to his complex relationships. “Dhafer L’Abidine” delivers a compelling performance in a film that seamlessly continues the rich tradition of Egyptian cinema of honouring Arabic literature.

The red carpet of the festival also played host to a delightful array of five films, providing the audience with a diverse and engaging cinematic journey. BACK TO ALEXANDRIA intricately explores the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, as the protagonist, Sue, returns from Switzerland to her Egyptian hometown, endeavouring to mend ties with her ailing mother, Fairouz. In ROXANA, the narrative revolves around Fred, a young man seemingly confined to his house, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters the bright and ambitious Roxana, prompting reflection on the extent of his newfound opportunities. OMEN follows Koffi’s return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his Belgian wife, Alice, anticipating that her pregnancy would mend familial relations but instead immersing them in a society ruled by superstition and fear. SNOW IN MIDSUMMER unfolds the story of a woman unjustly convicted in connection with sectarian violent events that claimed the lives of 196 people, as Ah Eng endeavours, fifty years later, to trace the painful history. Lastly, LOST LADIES weaves a heartwarming and conflicting tale of two brides accidentally exchanging places on a crowded Indian train, evoking laughter, tears, and a cascade of conflicting emotions.