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Red Sea International Film Festival

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival took place from December 6 -15, 2021 with live dailies on

The Red Sea International Film Festival brings the best in Arab and World Cinema to Jeddah Old Town. The Festival showcases exciting new films on the Saudi big-screen, alongside retrospective programs celebrating the masters of cinema, the latest Saudi films, and feature and short film competitions. There are also industry events and workshops nurturing the next generation of talent.

In ‘Celebration of Women in Cinema’, the Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF), hosted a gala event this evening at the 75th Cannes International Film Festival on the grounds of the magnificent Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes.


The second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will run in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from December 1-10, 2022.


The Red Sea Festival returns to Jeddah’s UNESCO World Heritage Site old-town Al Balad from 1-10 December, 2022



Over 30,000 filmgoers turned out along with 3,115 registered professionals for the 10-day celebration and industry networking


The Red Sea International Film Festival has confirmed the second edition will take place from 1-10 December 2022. The successful inaugural edition presented 138 films to over 30,000 filmgoers and 3,115 film professionals, media and students who came out in force to mark the landmark Festival.


Over the 10 days of the Festival, screenings were presented in 5 purpose-built theatres in the extraordinary cultural heart of Jeddah’s UNESCO World Heritage Site old-town Al Balad along with venues across the city and a showcase of the latest leading Virtual Reality (VR) storytelling and art projects.


An array of filmmakers and talent graced the red carpets, hosted masterclasses and engaged with Festival goers including Haifaa Al Mansour, Yousra, Laila Eloui, Catherine Deneuve, Clive Owen, Hilary Swank, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Anthony Mackie, Vincent Cassel and Akshay Kumar to mention but a few.


The first edition featured 138 films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages, female directors accounted for 38% of the film slate and an impressive 27 new Saudi films from an exciting wave of filmmakers presented the international audience with a unique opportunity to explore all aspects of Saudi society, and in turn, provide a vital platform for Saudi filmmakers to present their work on the big screen to the global film industry and local audiences.


The Red Sea Souk was deemed a huge success bringing together the local, regional and international industry for 4 days of curated events to foster co-production, international distribution, and new business opportunities. A bustling industry market welcomed an array of exhibiting companies including, buyers, sales agents, film commissions, distributors, and exhibitors. The Red Sea Souk concluded with more than 700,000 USD awarded to projects selected in the Red Sea Souk Awards. Following the Souk, Festival goers were able to attend Talent Days, a two-day initiative designed to support the development of the next generation of Saudi filmmakers.


The Festival’s film competition saw Academy Award-winning Italian director and writer Giuseppe Tornatore at the helm and along with his fellow jurors, they presented 13 Yusr Awards to recognise the highest achievements in storytelling. ‘Brighton 4th' directed by Levan Koguashvili scooped Best Film and the Festival’s Audience Award went to Hamzah K. Jamjoom for ‘Rupture’, and  ‘You Resemble Me’ directed by Dina Amer.


Throughout the year the Red Sea International Film Festival supports the next generation of filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and the Arab world through initiatives including The Red Sea Lodge which is now open for submissions from teams of Saudi and Arab directors, producers, and scriptwriters. Last year the Red Sea Fund announced a $14 million initiative which to date has supported 97 projects from Africa and the Arab world with development and post-production in the form of grants and funds to help bring their films to global audiences.


Mohammed Al-Turki Chairman of the Red Sea International Festival Committee, said: “We are grateful to the film and local community who put their trust in us, this was huge undertaking and the team worked extremely hard to deliver a Festival that I believe exceeded expectations. To bring people together through the universal language of film within the historic surroundings of Jeddah’s historic oldtown, to see emerging local filmmakers present their films alongside international counterparts to full cinemas was truly extraordinary. The future is bright for Saudi film and I look forward to welcoming return and new guests from around the world for our second edition.”


Shivani Pandya Malhotra, Managing Director of the Red Sea International Festival, said: “We are thrilled with the first edition and the overwhelmingly positive reaction from our local and international guests. Of course, this is just the beginning and we will strive to build upon the foundations of a Festival that promises a bright future for talent, brings the very best of cinema to audiences, supports the flourishing Saudi film industry, and becomes a gateway for business opportunities and collaboration.”


Red Sea International Film Festival


The second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will bring the best in Arab and World Cinema to Jeddah’s UNESCO World Heritage Site old-town (Al Balad), nestled on the eastern shore of the Red Sea.


The Festival will showcase a compelling slate of new and diverse films, alongside a retrospective programme celebrating the masters of cinema as well as introducing audiences to exciting new voices from the region and beyond. The Festival will provide a platform for Arab filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world to connect, host feature and short film competitions, and present a series of events, masterclasses, and workshops to support emerging talent. 


Running alongside the Festival is the Red Sea Souk, the Festival’s industry market, designed for global exchange and partnerships between the international and Saudi film industries. The four-day market will offer a packed programme of curated events to foster co-production, international distribution, and new business opportunities. The Souk offers unbeatable access to the new vibrant Saudi scene, as well as the best of the Arab market through pitching sessions, one-on-one meetings, screenings, industry talks, and networking events.


About Majid Al Futtaim


Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.


A remarkable business success story, Majid Al Futtaim started from one man’s vision to transform the face of shopping, entertainment and leisure to ‘create great moments for everyone, every day’. It has since grown into one of the United Arab Emirates’ most respected and successful businesses spanning 17 international markets, employing more than 43,000 people, and obtaining the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the region.


Majid Al Futtaim owns and operates 29 shopping malls, 13 hotels and four mixed-use communities, with further developments underway in the region. The shopping malls portfolio includes Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Egypt, Mall of Oman, City Centre malls, My City Centre neighbourhood centres, and five community malls which are in joint venture with the Government of Sharjah. The Company is the exclusive franchisee for Carrefour in over 30 markets across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, operating a portfolio of more than 375 outlets including City+, the region’s first checkout-free store, and an online store.


Majid Al Futtaim operates more than 600 VOX Cinemas screens as well as a portfolio of world-class leisure and entertainment experiences across the region including Ski Dubai, Ski Egypt, Dreamscape, Magic Planet, Little Explorers and iFLY Dubai. The Company is parent to a Fashion, Home and Specialty retail business representing international brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, AllSaints, lululemon athletica, Crate & Barrel, Maisons du Monde, LEGO and THAT, a Majid Al Futtaim fashion concept store and app. In addition, Majid Al Futtaim operates Enova, a facility and energy management company, through a joint venture operation with Veolia, a global leader in optimised environment resource management.




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