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Film Programs

The Festival is divided into 11 sections, with each program expertly curated by a team of internationally renowned programmers, delivering the best in Arab and world cinema, television, and VR to engaged Saudi and global audiences. 

Red Sea: Competition

The competition values all cinematic forms, from narrative to animation and documentary, featuring works from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world. It presents challenging cinematic works with innovative filmmaking and great storytelling by emerging and established voices, celebrated with generous prizes awarded by an international jury.

Red Sea: Shorts Competition

Featuring works of less than 60 minutes from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, the competition celebrates cinematic works that offer fresh takes and new ideas that tell compelling, diverse, and innovative stories in the short film form. It’s the place to discover something new and to connect with next-generation creators across the categories of narrative, documentary and animation, with generous prizes awarded by an international jury.

New saudi/new cinema

A curated introduction to the most vital new filmmakers and artists from Saudi Arabia. Diverse and dynamic, these are the voices shaping the scene; from art house features and shorts to documentaries, these are the films primed for launch on the international circuit.

International spectacular

Cinema from around the globe, featuring celebrated auteurs and international filmmaking icons. This section will showcase some of the most highly anticipated and talked about films of the year, shown for the first time in the Arab world.

Arab spectacular

Find the pulse of Arab creativity in this carefully curated selection of commercial and independent films, award winners, and regional premieres. It is a celebration of the films and personalities that lie at the heart of Arab cinema.

Red sea: Festival favourites

An expansive roundup of the year’s international hits–audience and critics’ favorites–hot from the Festival circuit, as well as films discovered and specially curated by the Festival team.

Red sea: Virtual reality

This section features the best in Augmented and Virtual Reality works, indulging in new modes of viewing, immersive technology and the latest audio-visual experiences.

Red sea: Treasures

A selection of unmissable gems and classics, the masterpieces that have inspired generations of directors–many screened for the first time in Saudi Arabia on newly restored prints.

Red sea: Families and children

These works are fun, universal and will introduce the magic of cinema to younger audiences with captivating stories for children, teens and families with a big appetite for film.

Red sea: New vision

Films that stand out with a fresh cinematic vision, addressing unique topics with a lens that will challenge and delight.

Red sea: Series

Saudi Arabian premiers of the best in episodic storytelling from around the globe, with up to two series episodes from television, streaming, or web platforms. This is the place to discover the best in episodic screened for the first time in the Kingdom.