Open to teams of Saudi and Arab directors and producers—with scriptwriters if on board—this intensive creative and professional training program will take your project from idea to reality. Every year, the Red Sea Lodge turns ambitious emerging filmmakers into the next big thing.
For filmmakers on the cusp of their big break, the Red Sea Lodge, in partnership with TorinoFilmLab, selects projects for creative and professional mentorship, development, and next-level industry opportunities.
In 2023, the Lodge expands over ten months (duration is subject to change depending on the to-be-announced Festival dates and the global health situation) and five workshops to give you a broad overview and strong grounding to explore your project’s full dramatic and production potential. You’ll be mentored by a Head of Script Development and Head of Production, with guidance from specialists across the industry.
Alongside ongoing script development sessions, the program features a producer coaching program and covers professional development, production, financing, sales, and marketing. During the workshop, participants also have the opportunity to work with internationally experienced professionals from the fields of directing, cinematography, soundediting, post-production, and sales.
Following development and meetings with industry professionals, winners will share a pot of $200,000 in cash prizes, based on merit. The awards will be announced during the Festival.
Director & Writer: Fatma RiahiProducer: Sarra Ben HassanCo-Writer: Louai Haffar2nd featureDocumentary(Tunis, Qatar)
Director: Wessam HachichoProducer: Amélie Quéret1st feature(France, Norway, Syria)
Director & Writer: Wissam TaniosProducer: Christian Eid2nd feature(Lebanon)
Director & Writer: Mohamed KassabyProducer: Mohamed Kateb1st feature(Egypt)
Director & Writer: Samer BattikhiProducer: Fatma Racha Shehadeh1st feature(Jordan, Lebanon)
Director & Writer: Naishe NyamubayaProducer: Sue-Ellen Chitunya1st feature(Zimbabwe)
Director: Vincho NchoguProducer: Josh Olaoluwa1st feature(Nigeria)
Director & Writer: Mujtaba SaeedProducer: Nadia EliewatCo-Writer: Ghiath Al Mhitawi1st feature(Saudi arabia, UAE, Germany)
Director: Amaal Youssif Producer: Ghaidaa Abuazzah1st feature(Saudi Arabia)
Director & Writer: Ghadeer BinabbasProducer: Ahmad Alerwi1st feature(Saudi Arabia)
Director & Writer: Lina MahmoudProducer: Chris Hanada1st feature(Saudi Arabia)
Director: Sarah Almuneef Producer: Séverine Tibi1st feature(Saudi Arabia, France)
For filmmakers on the cusp of their big break, the Red Sea Lodge, in partnership with TorinoFilmLab, selects projects for creative and professional mentorship, development, and next-level industry opportunities. Submit your project for your chance to be part of the ten-month program; applications open from the 6th of January 2022 to the 11th of February 2022.
In 2022, the Lodge expands across ten months (duration is subject to change depending on the to-be-announced Festival dates and the global health situation) and five workshops to give you a broad overview and strong grounding to explore your project’s full dramatic and production potential. You’ll be mentored by a Head of Script Development and Head of Production, with guidance from specialists across the industry.
Alongside ongoing script development sessions, the programme features a producers coaching programme and covers professional development, production, financing, sales and marketing. During the workshop, participants also have the opportunity to work with internationally experienced professionals from the fields of directing, cinematography, sound editing, post-production and sales.
Following development and meetings with industry professionals, two projects will be awarded the annual Red Sea Lodge the production prizes ($100,000 each), a grant and an Arab premiere at the next Red Sea International Film Festival.
The Red Sea Lodge, in cooperation with TorinoFilmLab, seeks to empower cinematic talents, preparing them to launch and succeed in the world of cinema. With that goal, twelve projects were selected to participate in an intensive program that aims to develop them, taking the necessary steps to get them closer and closer to the big screen.
In 2021, the Lodge expanded its program across nine months and five workshops to give the chosen participants a broad overview and strong grounding in different aspects of filmmaking, enabling them to explore their projects’ full dramatic and production potential. Participants have been mentored by a Head of Script Development and Head of Production, with guidance from specialists across the industry.
Alongside ongoing script development sessions, the program included a producer coaching program covering professional development, production, financing, sales and marketing. There were also opportunities to work with internationally experienced experts in directing, cinematography, editing sound, post-production and sales.
Following development and meetings with industry professionals, two projects will each be awarded the annual Red Sea Lodge production prize, comprising a $100,000 grant, in addition to the opportunity to have the Arab premiere of their film at the Red Sea International Film Festival.
During its first edition, the Red Sea Lodge hosted 12 projects with the aim of development. They were selected by an international committee out of 120 projects from 16 countries. The selected projects joined the Lodge in an integrated program that included three workshops, which were held in cooperation with TorinoFilmLab in Historic Jeddah, under the supervision of international experts in the fields of directing, photography, sound and editing. The selected works included 6 projects for Saudi films, in addition to 6 Arab projects from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, which reflected the program’s endeavor to support the film industry locally and all across the Arab world.
The program was extended for a period of 13 months–contrary to its official duration estimated at 7 months–due to the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic. Despite that, the program succeeded in completing its first session remotely, thanks to the TorinoFilmLab project’s adoption of the projects that participated in the first session of the Red Sea Lodge. It provided the participants with the opportunity to present their projects to producers, distributors and industry experts at the global level, which granted them plenty of opportunities, as well as the attention they deserved.
In parallel, a committee was formed according to the Lodge plan, to review and evaluate the projects, awarding two winners; the Saudi project “Sharshaf” directed by Hind Al Fahhad, written by Hana Alomair, produced by Talal Ayeel; and the Egyptian project “Bullets & Bread” by Mohammad Hammad, produced by Kholoud Saad and Mohamed Hefzy. The latter was based on a story by the author Tamer Abdrab Elnaby.
While the two projects won a production grant of $500,000, the surprise was a special discretionary grant of $25,000 from the Red Sea Lodge to the Saudi project “Four Faces of the Storm”, written and directed by Hossam El Helweh and produced by Mohammed Alhamoud.
Although the premiers of these projects were planned to take place during the first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in 2021, the overpowering conditions of the Covid-19 epidemic halted the finalization of the projects. This imposed an amended agreement to have them ready to premier at the second edition of the Festival planned for 2022.
The director must be of Arab, Saudi/or Saudi Resident or African nationality or origin and can be living anywhere in the world.
The producer can come from any country in the world. The producer needs to have demonstrable production experience (previous work).
The writer can come from any country in the world but preference is given to writers with Arab, Saudi/Saudi Resident or African nationality or origin. A screenwriter must have experience of realized scripts in any form, including shorts, TV, web series, or theater.
There are three points to this category:
The program is aimed towards first or second-time feature directors, and so directors must have experience in the field, as demonstrated through one or two previous works that will be submitted. These previous works can be: short films, music videos, commercials, features, documentaries, TV or web series.
Producers must have produced audio-visual works; these works can be short films, music videos, commercials, features, documentaries, or TV/web series.
A writer must have tangible experience in writing and have had their work realized or published in one of the following fields: theater, literature, journalism, advertising, TV, radio, and film.
All applications must have a producer and director; if the director is not also the writer, there must be a separate writer attached to the project.
All applications must have a producer and a director; if the director is not also the writer, there must be a writer attached to the project.
The training is organized for producers and director/writer and it is not possible for one person to follow both strands of the program. As such, applications must be presented by a team of a producer and a director/writer.
Complete the online application form available on the website
A synopsis is a brief description of the key elements of the whole story, without dialogue. The Red Sea Lodge requires a 1-page synopsis of maximum 1,000 characters with spaces.
A treatment is a written description of the whole story without dialogue. It is more detailed than a synopsis and should read like a short story told in the present tense describing events as they happen. It should include information on the cinematic style, locations, and motivation of the director. The Red Sea Lodge requires a treatment of 5–10 pages, of maximum 18,000 characters.
The director’s vision provides information about the creative approach of the director and should offer a strong sense of how the film will look and why this film is important to the filmmaker. It can be represented by a mood board, a project-book (a few pages of a storyboard, a color script, a series of drawings or photographs) or by a video (maximum 3 minutes). It visually complements the written concept and describes the project through images.
The biography can be written as a text describing the educational background and work experience of the applicants.
The filmography should be presented in the form of URLs of previous works including the title, year, the length of the film, the genre (documentary, fiction, or animation) and the role of the applicant in the production.
The Red Sea Lodge asks for a minimum of two examples of previous works, to be included in the application. Pieces need to be seen in their entirety, as such, showreels are not accepted. The online link to your film needs to be available for three months after the deadline and must be subtitled in English.The work should demonstrate the applicant’s ability. Ideally, applicants should submit examples that complement the proposed project; it is possible to explain the relationship between your previous films and the proposed project in the director’s treatment section of your application.
This document describes the cast you would like to involve in your project, or actors who have already indicated an interest. It is not necessary to send a letter of intent from actors, but photo references can be sent to support the casting idea document (1-page, maximum 350 words or 1,800 characters).
A financial plan explains the strategy to fund the film through all stages from development through to completion. It should include the financiers who have already committed, those who have been approached whose response is still pending, and those who have been identified but are yet to be formally approached. It should include all financiers, producers, co-producers, funds, awards, etc. In the written explanation, you can provide the logic of your plan.
The purpose of this document is to state that, if selected to participate in the program, the director and producer mutually agree to complete the submitted project according to the deadlines and requirements of the call. A memo deal between the two parties is sufficient.
If the project has previously participated in film training courses and development programs please list the programs. This gives the selection team an idea of the development of the project and the team.
This video message from the director presents themselves and their work. Each director is free to choose the best way to realize it, though the video must be presented in English. The video should be a maximum of three minutes long.
It is not necessary for the proposed project to have a script in order to be considered for the Red Sea Lodge. However, though it is not a required part of the application, if there is one already written, you can submit a copy in English or Arabic.
January 21st 2022 11:59 PM KSA time
All members of the selected teams (producer, writer and scriptwriter) must be committed to the entirety of the program, and are required to attend all elements, which includes 6 workshops for the Saudi applicants and five workshops for non-Saudi applicants (1 online, and the rest will be in-person) and extensive work in the periods between workshops. It is not possible to miss workshops or to replace/change the team members during the program.
There are no costs to cover neither to apply, nor if a project is selected. The Red Sea Lodge will cover online platform fees, flights, accommodation, visa costs, and meals for all participants, any other incidentals will need to be covered by the participants themselves.
The selected Red Sea Lodge projects must indicate Red Sea Lodge support after the completion of the program. There are also obligations on completion of the film, including credits and premiere. Please see the following section on credits for a full outline of requirements from the filmmakers.
The director and producer will retain the complete rights for the film. When completed, The Red Sea Lodge will require the winning project to grant the Red Sea Film Festival the Arab Premiere. There are requirements concerning how the Red Sea Lodge is credited. Once the final selection is made, the teams will sign an agreement with the Red Sea Lodge, defining all the details on how the Red Sea Lodge should be credited when the film is completed.
The award prize will be paid in two installments according to each project’s production schedules, which will be agreed during the last workshop.
No, unfortunately, due to the volume of anticipated applications, the Red Sea Lodge will not discuss or give specific feedback on the non-selected projects.