The Red Sea Lodge is designed to support a new wave in Arab cinema, nurturing the next generation of filmmakers.

The intensive 5-month program is tailored for emerging filmmakers on their first or second feature; more established names with truly daring new concepts and approaches will be considered.

The Red Sea Lodge is open to creatives from Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, working on a feature film project at any stage of development. Following the 5-month program, teams will have the opportunity to pitch for the two Red Sea Lodge Production Awards, a prize of $500,000 each to see their film realized in time for its world premiere at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2021.

A maximum of 12 project teams will be selected for the program, at least six of which will be Saudi, with the remainder from across the Arab world. A project qualifies as a Saudi project if it has a Saudi director, telling a Saudi story, and is shot in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Deadline for applications is August 25, 2019, at 06:00 evening KSA time

Full terms, conditions, and application requirements are outlined below. For further information contact: info[at]

Who Can Apply?

  • Applications must be made in creative teams, comprising:
  1. a writer-director and producer or
  2. director, writer, and producer
  • The director should be of Saudi nationality or origin or of Arab nationality or origin;
  • Preference will be given to projects with producers and screenwriters of Arab nationality or origin, but projects with team members of other nationalities will be considered provided the director is of Arab nationality or origin;
  • Aimed at first or second-time feature directors, applications from more established voices will be considered if they demonstrate daring new ideas and approaches;
  • The team must confirm their full availability for all workshop sessions, and attendance at the Red Sea International Film Festival in March 2020;
  • The working language of the workshops, meetings, and events is in English; therefore, a good knowledge of English is preferred however should an applicant need Arabic translation they should advise the Red Sea Film Lodge, so arrangements can be made accordingly.

What kind of film project?

  • Arab projects, directed by an Arab director with an Arab story
  • Saudi projects should be directed by a Saudi director, with a Saudi story, shot in Saudi Arabia
  • Submissions can be for any film type - for example:- fiction, creative documentary, experimental animation, or any other innovative cinematic form
  • The budget of the film is limited to $500,000, which reflects the total amount of the final award which the projects will compete for, and the one-year production time frame; if the budget is in excess of the prize fund, the producers must be able to demonstrate guaranteed funding for the remainder, and that the film can be produced within one year (N.B. these commitments are a prerequisite for entry to the program, and without guarantees on funding and timeframes, teams will not be able to eligible to join)
  • It must be possible to produce the project within the time frame of one year

The Program:

  • Selected participants will follow an intensive project development program scheduled across five months. The program will explore projects from all perspectives including script consultations and work with experts in the fields of directing, cinematography, sound, post-production, financing and sales, and audience engagement
  • All team members must be committed to participating in the full duration of the training, including attendance at all sessions, meeting the demands of the program as outlined by mentors and course moderators, as well as making themselves available to work on their projects between workshops

The selected 12 project teams will attend three workshops, taking place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:

Workshop 1

12 Days (14 including travel)

October 31 – November 11, 2019

Workshop 2

8 Days (10 including travel)

January 22–29, 2020

Workshop 3

6 Days (8 including travel)

March 9–14, 2020

(Three days before the Red Sea International Film Festival and industry days)

  • At the end of the workshop, the teams will present their projects to an audience of international producers, sales agents, and other film industry professionals at the Red Sea International Film Festival
  • During the Festival, the teams will also have one-on-one meetings with key decision makers and will gain visibility through the Red Sea Lodge Catalog and network.
  • Two winning teams will receive an award of $500,000 each. These awards will be announced during the Festival.
  • An in-house committee will make the award selection, taking into account the feasibility of the project to be realized within the $500,000 budget (or with additional guaranteed funds already secured) and within the one-year time frame

Acknowledgement & Credits:

Projects that are developed at the Red Sea Lodge:

  1. Are committed to crediting the Red Sea Lodge in the film’s opening credits and verbally acknowledge the Lodge at festivals, in awards speeches, or in any press engagements where the film is discussed.
  2. Will have its GCC premiere at the second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival (in 2021)

Projects that win the Red Sea Lodge award and cash prize, or if they win any awards from the Red Sea Lodge’s Partners:

  1. Will give opening and closing credit to the Red Sea Lodge as well as verbally acknowledge the Lodge at festivals, awards speeches, or in any press engagements where the film is discussed.
  2. Must premiere at the Red Sea International Film Festival; should the film get into any of the A* list festivals, the applicant can get special approval in writing from the Red Sea International Film Festival management for an exception to premiere the film at the approved festival
  3. Are required to give the Red Sea Lodge producer credits in the film as follows:
    1. Red Sea Lodge award winner will list the Red Sea Lodge as Producer
    2. Award winners from Red Sea Lodge official partners will list the Red Sea Lodge as Co-Producer

Documentation required to apply to the Red Sea Lodge (Preferably to be presented in both Arabic and English, but when applied in either language, translation of all material will need to be provided when shortlisted):

a. Synopsis (1 page, max 350 words or 1,800 characters)

b. Treatment for a $500,000-budget project that fully outlines the narrative of the project (5–10 pages, max 3,500 words or 18,000 characters)

N.B. if the project budget exceeds $500,000, the producer must demonstrate guaranteed funding for the shortfall

c. Director’s vision represented by a mood board, a project-book (pages of a storyboard, a color script, a series of drawings, or photographs) or by a video (max 3 minutes). These should visually complement the written concept, and elucidate the project through images

d. Previous works by the director digital or on film, to be uploaded directly to the website (max to be submitted)

e. Casting idea (1 page, max 350 words or 1,800 characters)

f. Total budget up to a maximum of $500,000 or

g. Financial strategy, if the budget exceeds the prize fund of $500,000, the producers must include a Financial Strategy document which demonstrates alternative guaranteed funding sources for the remainder

h. Biography and filmography of the director and the producer -the filmography must comprise: all previous works including the title, year, length of the film, genre (documentary or fiction), and role in the production

i. Production company profile

j.Video presentation (optional) by the director in English or Arabic (max 3 minutes)

Please provide subtitles

k. Audience engagement plan which describes how to create audience awareness through online communities (1 page, max 350 words or 1,800 characters)

l. Signed agreement between the producer and the director

m. List of training courses and events in which the project has previously circulated

n. Script (optional) it is not necessary to have a script for the project to be considered by the Red Sea Lodge, but if one is already written, a copy may be submitted in English or Arabic