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Red Sea International Film Festival Presents The 48Hr Film Challenge

June 9, 2022

Two competition winners will travel to France for a tailor-made residency in 2023

Dhafer L’Abidine as Head of Jury, Wael Abu Mansour & Claude Mourieras as Jury Members


The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced a new short film competition designed to challenge and support aspiring Saudis and Saudi-resident filmmakers to produce new works. The 48Hr Film Challenge is a collaboration between The Alliance Française of Saudi Arabia, The Consulate General of France in Jeddah, The French Embassy in Riyadh, and the Red Sea International Film Festival. The 48Hr Film Challenge supports up-and-coming filmmakers to write, shoot and produce a short film in just two days.

The challenge will take place in June, with three days of mentorship followed by an intensive 48-hours where the selected teams will write, shoot, and edit their short film from scratch, working around a set theme and incorporating additional, ‘surprise’ elements set by the challenge organizers. Applications are welcome from Saudi-based creatives aged between 18-25 years. Teams can comprise of two to five participants, led by a Saudi director or scriptwriter. The selected teams will get access to three days of workshops that will equip them with the knowledge and expertise to develop their film, from idea to final cut.

The jury will be chaired by award winning actor Dhafer L’Abdine as the Head of Jury; other jury members include renowned filmmaker and journalist Wael Abu Mansour and Claude Mourieras, award winning French film director and screenwriter.

The challenge will culminate in November with screenings. The jury will award two teams from the 48Hr Film Challenge trophies designed by the artist Rabi Alakhras. The winning team leaders will go on to enjoy a tailored educational residency program with renowned French cinematographers, during 2023.

Dhafer L’Abdine, president of the jury, commented “The Saudi film industry gave us a glimpse of its potential with the vast variety of Saudi-made films that premiered in the first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival. We are merely scratching the surface, but competitions and programs like the 48Hr Film Challenge help us to seek out and uncover the untapped talent that is clearly prevalent in the Saudi film community and equip them with the knowledge and experience to create their own work. I have high hopes for the next generation of Saudi filmmakers, and I’m very excited to see what they accomplish.”.