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The Festival

The program is divided into 11 sections expertly curated by a team of internationally renowned programmers, presenting a diverse and exclusive selection of the latest, most exciting feature and short films; interactive VR and AR works; restored classic treasures; animated films; and episodes from all over the world. These exclusive screenings take place in Jeddah in both the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and our partner screens at Vox Cinema Red Sea Mall, as they compete for our generous Yusr Awards.

The program is as follows:

Red Sea: Competition

The competition values all cinematic forms, from narrative to animation and documentary, featuring films 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 films of less than 60 minutes from the Arab world, Asia, and Africa, 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 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 exciting 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 into the international circuit.

International Spectacular

Cinema from around the globe, featuring celebrated auteurs and international filmmaking icons. This section showcases some of the most highly anticipated and talked about films of the year, screened 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’s a celebration of the films and personalities shaping the beating heart of Arab cinema.

Red Sea: Festival Favorites

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 our Festival team.

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 and 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 series screened for the first time in the Kingdom.