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Red Sea International Film Festival Day 5 Round Up

December 4, 2023

On its fifth day, the Red Sea International Film Festival unfolded a plethora of events and films celebrating the vibrant film industry. The day was enriched with enlightening seminars and an engaging In-Conversation session featuring Tunisian actor and director Dhafer L’Abidine. The silver screen showcased exclusive regional and international screenings, including the world premiere of SOUTH AFRICA EATS and the Middle East and North Africa debut of SIX FEET OVER. Festival attendees also enjoyed screenings of FOUR DAUGHTERS and HAJJAN, making it a day filled with diverse cinematic talents and offerings.

Exploring Cinematic Insights: Red Sea Souk Seminars on its Third Day

The Red Sea Souk serves as a pivotal meeting point for filmmakers, acting as a platform that unites emerging talents with international production and distribution companies. Within the dynamic 360 program of the Souk, three seminars took center stage, offering profound insights into cooperative projects, film production models, and co-production opportunities in the Arab world. Noteworthy titles included ” Collaborative Ventures: Adapting International IPs; Investing in Local Productions; Connecting Local Stories to Global Audiences, drawing the attention of industry enthusiasts. Another impactful seminar, “Cinematic Crossovers: Exploring the Global Impact of Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, and French Cinema”, delved into the success stories of these global film industries, analyzing their unique attributes, and exploring the reasons behind their triumphs on both local and international stages.”

The third and final seminar delved into a comprehensive analysis of the creative film landscape in the Arab region. Titled “Unlocking Co-Production Opportunities with the Arab World; Scanning the Ecosystem of Film Commissions, Funds, Labs & Filming Locations “, it explored the crucial role of film commisions, funding entities, and labs in fostering and promoting talent. The discussion emphasized how these entities facilitate co-production and cultural exchange not only within the Arab world but also with Africa, Asia, and Europe. It also delves into what makes a successful filming location, how it can foster the growth of a region into a dynamic film hub, and how it can enable co-productions.

On the festival’s fifth day, the Souk hosted the third and final communication sessions themed “Entrepreneurial and Pivotal Roles”. These sessions emphasized the significance of fortifying professional trajectories by establishing connections with influential figures from both the regional and international spheres, often operating behind the scenes. The session saw the participation of talent managers, acting agents, and consultants specializing in scenarios, production, and distribution.

Dhafer L’Abidine Shares His Artistic Beginnings in An Engaging In-Conversation Session with The Attendees

Tunisian star Dhafer L’Abidineengaged in a dialogue session hosted by the festival,as part of their   continuous in conversations spotlighting luminaries if the film industry. Reflecting on the beginnings of his acting career, which emerged in his late twenties following successes as a professional footballer, Dhafer emphasized that acting had been a childhood dream. He discussed his film TO MY SON, participating in the Red Sea International Film Festival as a special performance, marking his inaugural artistic involvement in the Kingdom. Expressing gratitude, he commended the festival for its role in developing the film industry and nurturing emerging talents, both locally and internationally.

Mirroring Reality on the Red Carpet: Cinematic Reflections

On the fifth day of the Red Sea International Film Festival, the prestigious red carpet welcomed the stars of SIX FEET OVER, marking its premiere in the Middle East and North Africa region. The film follows the story of Sofiane, the Western-educated son of an Algerian diplomatic figure, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he works as an apprentice in an Islamic funeral home to rectify his immigration status. The screening captivated the audience with its narrative of profound transformation.

Furthermore, the festival featured the screening of HAJJAN in the presence of director Abu Bakr Shawky and actors Azzam El Nemr, Abdulmohsen Alnemr, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi, and the emerging Saudi talent Omar Al Atawi. The film explores the deep connection between humans and animals, narrating the journey of Matar, the youngest member of a Saudi family of camel jockeys, and his camel Hofira in search of freedom and a better life.

Additionally, the red carpet welcomed the stars of FOUR DAUGHTERS, a film previously featured in the official competition of the 76th edition of Cannes Film Festival. Director Kaouther Ben Hania and actors Nour Karoui, Ishrak Matar, Tayssir Chikhaoui, Eya Chikhaoui, and Majd Mastoura graced the occasion. The documentary follows the story of the Chikhaoui family, which gained attention in 2016 when two of the four teenage girls joined ISIS in Libya, exploring the complexities of their story.

World Premiere of SOUTH AFRICA EATS at RSIFF

Festival attendees were treated to the screening of the first episode of SOUTH AFRICA EATS at the Red Sea International Film Festival. The eight-part docu-series delves into the profound concept of our food choices and their impact on people, offering a rich exploration of South Africa’s diverse culinary scene shaped by the amalgamation of races, migration, and colonization. The series aims to bring forth the story of what South Africa is, by eating its food. Presented by the serious foodie and journalist Ashfaaq Carim, the film takes the audience on a flavorful journey through the specialties of South Africa, expertly paired with original music from the regions he visits.