The Red Sea International Film Festival is committed to supporting new work and to building strong, vibrant Saudi and Arab film scenes – connected to the world and pioneering new approaches. Initiatives include year-round masterclasses, major production grants, and the annual Red Sea Souk industry program.
RED SEA SOUK
A comprehensive industry program running alongside the public Festival, the Red Sea Souk is the opportunity to connect with the Arab film scene. Taking place as part of the Kingdom's first-ever international film festival, the Souk provides unbeatable access to the vibrant new Saudi scene, as well as the best of the Arab market. On March 17 and 18, the Talent Days workshops will take place, providing Saudi national producers, directors, and scriptwriters the opportunity to take their projects to the next level.
With world-class exhibitor areas for distributors, sales agents, and producers, the Souk prioritizes relationship-building between filmmakers and industry, between the Arab region and the world. The Souk presents the best projects and films-in-progress, granting industry guests a look at the next great Arab films and introductions to fresh talent. This dynamic market setting provides exciting new business opportunities, including pitching sessions, one-on-one meetings, screenings, industry talks, and industry networking events.
The exhibition area offers space for dedicated booths, as well as opportunities to host private meetings and advertise new films or film-related projects.
This is the place to showcase your business, explore exciting opportunities, and forge new connections.
Dedicated to new trends in the film industry, as well as providing an introduction to new talent from the Arab world, the Red Sea Souk's industry talks will take place during the festival. The diverse sessions will bring together industry leaders from the Arab region and around the world to share their experiences and business models and to discuss new trends. The program will also give a voice to key players in the Saudi and Arab cinema scenes.
Discover and connect with the most exciting Arab filmmakers as more than 20 teams from across the region present their latest projects, exclusively at the Red Sea Souk project market. Meet the filmmakers and projects defining the exciting new wave of Arab cinema – following pitches, there’ll be three days to connect with the directors and producers through one-on-one sessions.
The projects include twelve developed through the Red Sea Lodge, an intensive program delivered in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab. The twelve teams of filmmakers, including six Saudi teams alongside others from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, have been workshopping their projects through residential programs in Jeddah Old Town since October 2019.
All projects presented will be eligible for production awards offered by the Festival and its sponsors. As a sales agent, distributor, producer, or festival programmer seeking the next-big-thing from the Arab world, this is your opportunity to connect with the next generation of leading filmmakers, ahead of the curve.
01 Barzakh (Germany)
- Directed by: Laila Abbas (Palestine)
- Written by:Laila Abbas (Palestine)
- Produced by: Roshanak Nedjad
- Co-produced by: Hanna Attallah (Palestine), Gary Cranner (Norway)
02 HENNA'S DUST (UAE)
- Directed by: Waleed Al-Shehhi (AE) ,Abdullah Hasan Ahmed (AE), Masoud Amralla Al Ali (AE)
- Written by: Masoud Amralla Al Ali (AE), Ibrahim Al Mulla, Mohammed Hasan Ahmed, Ahmed Salmin (Screenwriter)
- Produced by: Abdullah Hasan Ahmed
- Co-produced by: Waleed Al-Shehhi (UAE)
- Directed by: Ammar Al-Sabban (SA)، Yaser Hammad (SA)
- Written by: Ammar Al-Sabban (SA)، Yaser Hammad (SA)
- Produced by: Ammar Al-Sabban
- Co-produced by: Yaser Hammad (Saudi Arabia)
04 The Meursault Investigation(Algeria)
- Directed by: Malek Bensmail (DZ)
- Written by: Malek Bensmail (DZ), Jacques Fieschi
- Produced by: Hachemi Zertal
- Co-produced by: Denis Freyd (France)
05 THE NAZARENE (UK)
- Directed by: Anwar Boulifa (GB)
- Written by: Anwar Boulifa (GB)
- Produced by: Bertrand Faivre
06 The Sweet of Heaven (Saudi Arabia)
- Directed by: Aymen Khoja (SA)
- Written by: Mahmood Hamdan
- Produced by: Fadi Ismail
07 Under Construction (Lebanon)
- Directed by: Nadim Tabet (LB)
- Written by: Nadim Tabet (LB), Antoine Waked
- Produced by:Georges Schoucair
08 From A Crooked Rib
YEAR ROUND MASTERCLASSES
Hear from the best through masterclasses, including talks and question and answer sessions. Open to anyone interested in the film and entertainment industry, from cinema lovers and students of film to aspiring and professional directors, actors or artists, the series hosts the industry’s leaders, from across the Arab world and internationally.
The first in a series, award-winning filmmaker Marwan Hamed delivered a masterclass at the Saudi Art Council in November 2019. The session explored the art of storytelling, raising finance, and creating a successful film with a distinctive Arab identity – all through the lens of his rich experience. Marwan Hamed is an Egyptian director and producer with a career spanning more than 20 years. His directorial debut, the short film LILLY (2001), based on a short story by the novelist Youssef Idris, earned him wide critical acclaim. In 2006, Marwan directed his first feature film THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING (OMARET YACOUBIAN) (2006), which garnered many awards, followed by THE BLUE ELEPHANT (2014) and its 2019 sequel, considered one of the highest-grossing films in the history of Egyptian cinema.
Red Sea International Film Festival partners with Cairo International Film Festival to support Arab filmmakers creating Red Sea Film Festival Award in collaboration with the Cairo Film Connection. The winner is UNDER CONSTRUCTION directed by Nadim Tabet and produced by Georges Schoucair. Both the director and the producer will be invited to participate in the Red Sea Souk's project market to take place in Jeddah next March 13-16, 2020. The partnership between the Red Sea International Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival is an acknowledgement of their shared aim in supporting a new and exciting generation of Arab filmmakers.
An insider’s look at the next blockbusters from the Arab world, with a special focus on five films-in-progress from high profile and emerging filmmakers. Jeddah Focus will present the first cut of these new works, with 20-minute preview screenings exclusively for sales agents, distributors, and Festival programmers.
The Festival believe in these projects, backing them through The Beit Al Montage Fund. This new post-production grant scheme totals US$100,000, with each of the selected films-in-progress receiving a completion grant of US$20,000. Dedicated to supporting the best in Arab cinema, Jeddah Focus and The Beit Al Montage Fund will see these films go on from Jeddah to complete post-production, travel the world of festivals, and conquer international audiences.
SHORT FILM MARKET
The Short Film Market gathers the industry around new talents, with the MBC AL Amal Short Film Competition of short film projects, and a digital library of selected works. A dedicated venue within the Red Sea Souk, the Short Film Market brings together the short film community in one place – it’s an unbeatable opportunity for industry guests to encounter the key players shaping this intriguing scene.
Experience a showcase of Saudi shorts, with selections by Festival partners, including the 24 films produced over the last two years by La Fémis (École nationale supérieure des métiers de l'image et du son, the acclaimed film school based in Paris). Alongside curated programs, a digital library will be freely available to watch Saudi shorts at guest's leisure.
The MBC AL Amal short film competition will showcase ideas from the next-generation of Arab auteurs in a carefully curated selection of projects. Chosen through an open call, led by MBC, the directors and producers will take part in training to hone their presentation skills, before taking their ideas to industry guests with a competitive pitching session. MBC will award three projects full development and production grants.
On March 17 and 18, the Talent Days, powered by MBC Hope, offers two days of workshops to Saudi national directors, scriptwriters, and producers. Talent Days is the opportunity to develop skills and insight to take projects to the next level, touching on everything from production to financing.
Led by industry experts invited to share their experience and give updates in film production, financing, and distribution. In various sessions across two days, they will share their industry expertise and inspiration to help Saudi filmmakers expand their knowledge and skills for a competitive edge in the international market. Pre-registration is mandatory and open to producers, directors, or scriptwriters only. Capacity is strictly limited to 150 participants, and access to the Talent Days is on a first-come-first-served basis