Tamheed Fund is one of the initiatives launched by the Red Sea International Film Festival designed to support a robust infrastructure for the Saudi film industry. The fund aims to support feature films in KSA made by Saudi Arabian filmmakers and focuses on projects with authentic local stories presented in innovative visual styles and daring narration tools. Tamheed-supported films will premier in the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in March 2020.

Red Sea International Film Festival unveils the winning projects for the inaugural Tamheed Fund (Two grants of $500,000 each)

The competition received 24 submissions, two of which were by female directors. The subject matter in the projects covered diverse geographic and social environments, from major cities to villages and deserts. Some belonged to Saudi art schools, and included themes like realism, neorealism, psychodrama, sci-fi and fantasy, with one animation project.

The projects tackled various themes, exploring the cultural heritage in the Kingdom, complicated family relationships, passions for art, and self-realization. Several films focused on documenting changes in contemporary Saudi society and its transformation.

The WINNERS are:

  • THE BOOK OF SUN (SHAMS AL-MA'ARIF), directed by Faris Godus and produced by Sohayb Godus
  • FORTY YEARS AND A NIGHT (ARBAOUN AMAN WA LAILA), directed by Mohammed Alholayyil and
    produced by Abdulrahman Khawj.

The Book of Sun (Shams Al Ma'arif)

THE BOOK OF SUN (SHAMS AL-MA'ARIF), directed by Faris Godus and produced by Sohayb Godus, tells the story of Hussam, a teenager about to graduate high school, who is distracted by the wave of Saudi YouTube content creation at its peak in 2010. He decides to make a no-budget feature film putting his whole education future at risk.

© Hayat Osamah

Director: Faris Godus

© Funtazea

Producer: Sohayb Godus

About the filmmakers:

Sohayb and Faris Godus came to fame through Telfaz 11 projects, especially in Jeddah. The brothers developed their own pathway in film. Faris created a name for himself in directing and editing, while Sohayb developed his acting and production skills. Together, the Godus brothers made the short film DEPRESSING SCENE (2016) and recently participated in ANOTHER PLANET, a TV series on Saudi TV for the 2019 Ramadan season.

40 Years and One Night (Arbaoun Aman Wa Laila)

FORTY YEARS AND A NIGHT (ARBAOUN AMAN WA LAILA), directed by Mohammed Alholayyil and produced by Abdulrahman Khawj. It tells the story of a family whose members discover, on Eid al-Fitr, deep secrets that were hidden for decades, which poisons their relationships and threatens the stability of the family and the purity of their memories.

© Murtada AlFadl

Director: Mohammed Alholayyil

© Sara Alolayan

Producer: Abdulrahman Khawj

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:

Mohammed Alholayyil: Born in 1997 in Al-Ahsa, the young writer and filmmaker made several short films including Mator and 300KM. His films screened in multiple Arab and regional film festivals to critical acclaim. His work presents a deep analysis of a range of cultural issues with a dark sense of humor.

Abdulrahman Khawj: Among the pioneers of the independent film movement in the Kingdom, Khawj founded ‘Cinepoetics’ film production company in Jeddah. He produced and directed two feature films: POETRY BRIDE (2017) and PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS OF COFFEE (2019). He contributed to multiple Saudi short and feature films and lectures in screenwriting in Effat University.