On Monday evening, the Red Sea International Film Festival kicked off with its first session in Jeddah, which will showcase 138 films from 67 countries, an event that filmmakers and fans in Saudi Arabia have been waiting for almost two years.
The festival was scheduled to take place in March 2020, but the corona epidemic prevented it, and after setting November as the date for the corporate session, it was postponed to this December.
The festival will be held for 10 days in the historic “Al-Balad” Jetta, which is listed as a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
International French actress Catherine Denou, Saudi director and producer Haifa al-Mansour, Egyptian actress Laila LV, and French president of the Arab World Foundation in Paris Jacques Long were also honored at the ceremony to raise the slogan “Waves of Change”.
Haifa Al-Mansour, Saudi director and producer, will be honored at the ceremony Haifamansur One of the leading names in the Saudi, Arab and international film industry, for her achievements and to promote the contribution of women in cinema. pic.twitter.com/2o03QnTv1l
– RedSeaFilm (edRedSeaFilm) December 6, 2021
The festival includes numerous artists and a bouquet of freshly made Arabic and foreign films, including Palestinian director Honey Abu Assad’s “Hooda Salon”, Moroccan director Nabil Ayoch’s “Ali Your Voice”, and the Tunisian “Katwa”. Tafar El Abidin, and “The Last Daughter” by American Maggie Gillenhall.
Entitled “Interactive Cinema”, the project is dedicated to films made using virtual reality technology, including about 20 films exhibited around Jameel, Jetta’s latest creative complex.
In parallel to the film screening, the “Red Sea Market” Festival is being held from December 8 to 11 to promote co-production and support the international distribution of films.
On December 12 and 13, the festival will dedicate a special event for Saudi and Gulf directors, producers and writers entitled “Talent Days” with the aim of supporting and refining the new generation of young filmmakers.
About 3 years after the launch of the first International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia, the country has reopened its theaters and created a number of companies to promote the entertainment industry, including the Saudi Film Authority, which was established in February last year.
The opening ceremony was hosted by actor Jacob Al-Farhan and director Fatima Al-Banavi, and featured the screenplay of the British director Joe Wright’s musical film “Chirno” starring Peter Dinglage, Hayley Bennett and Calvin Harrison Jr.
“Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic.”