The Red-sea Labs announced on Monday, March 13th the selection of 12 projects, directed and produced by new and exciting voices from Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab and African region, which have been selected for the Red Sea Lodge, a development program in collaboration with the TorinoFilmLab and sponsored by Film AlUla.
The Lodge is an intensive ten-month mentorship program, aimed at the next generation of emerging filmmakers to help turn their project ideas into a reality.
The first Lodge workshop took place on March 14th in the Saudi location of AlUla, with the final workshop and presentation of the selected projects slated to take place during the third edition of the RedSeaIFF, which is scheduled to run from 30 November - 9 December in Jeddah.
This year, The Lodge schedule is made up of five workshops, with four of them taking place in person. The workshops are designed to take emerging filmmaking talent at the early stages of their career through the essentials of filmmaking. The selected projects will receive access to a wealth of industry knowledge and support, given by experts across all factions of the film world. From editing and sound to the later stages of the filmmaking process, such as post-production and sales.
This year the Lodge opened to Africa to be included with the Saudi and Arab projects. The winners of the prestigious program will take home a share of US $200,000 to help kickstart their projects and build on the key learnings from the workshops.
As Saudi Arabia continues to make a name for itself as a hub for cinema, now joining the Arab world and Africa on this journey, this is proving a great time for up-and-coming filmmakers to break into the industry, with the support of The Redsea Labs programs. “The Red Sea Labs are growing into a wide-ranged platform with multiple programs including the Lodge so that we can build an echo system, in which we develop the filmmakers so they can apply to the Fund and find their opportunities in the Souk. Aiming for a stellar film industry in the region,” disclosed Ryan Ashore, Head of The Redsea Labs.
The teaching team is led by industry heavyweights including producer and Venice program consultant Violeta Bava as Head of Studies, French-Lebanese filmmaker Michel Kammoun, who is Head of Script Development, and German-based producer Titus Kreyenberg, as Head of Production. With the tutor team including Greek independent film producer Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Tunisian award-winning helmer Mohamed Ben Attia, Marta Andreu, who is the academic director of the Master in Creative Documentary, at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, writer and director Magali Negroni and Beirut-based producer Sabine Sidawi.
Shivani Pandya Malhotra, the Managing Director of the Red Sea International Festival stated: “The Lodge, in partnership with TorinoFilmLab, provides vital support to the next generation of film talent coming out of the region. We’re hugely excited by the 12 projects that have been selected this year, which represent a diverse range of filmmakers and perspectives. Building on the success of previous years, The Lodge aims to continue nurturing talent and putting the region on the map as a hub for filmmakers.”
The Lodge Workshops are scheduled to take place throughout the year in the following locations:
• 1st Lodge session will take place in AlUla, KSA 14 – 20 March
• 2nd Lodge session will take place in Ithra, Dammam, KSA 2 – 6 May, coinciding with the upcoming Saudi Film Festival
• 3rd Lodge session will take place virtually from 17 – 21 July
• 4th Lodge session will take place in Torino, Italy 25 – 29 September
• 5th Lodge session will take place in Jeddah, KSA during the Red Sea Film Festival 30 November – 9 December
The selected projects from Saudi Arabia are:
How To Not Get Married In Saudi Arabia; Writer/Director Ghadeer Binabbas, Producer Emmanuel Mayer
Sukun; Writer/Director Lina Mahmoud, Producer Abdulghani Alsaigh
Mecca Berlin; Writer/Director Mujtaba Saeed, Producer Nadia Eliewat, Co-Writer Ghiath Mhithawi
By Hasnaa’s Side; Writer/Director Amaal Yousef, Producer Ghaidaa Abuazzah
Lost Soul; Writer/Director Sarah Mohammed Almuneef, Producer Séverine Tibi
The selected projects from the Arab region are:
An Endless Night; Writer/Director Mohamed Kassaby, Producer Mohamed Kateb
To Each Their Own; Writer/Director Samer Battikhi, Producer Fatma Racha Shehadeh
Temporary Lives; Writer/Director Wessam Hachicho, Producer Amélie Quéret
The Sun Has Seen Everything; Writer/Director Wissam Tanios, Producer Christian Eid
My Father Killed Bourguiba; Writer/Director Fatma Riahi, Producer Erige Seheri, Co-Writer Louai Haffar
The selected projects from Africa are:
Black Snake; Writer/Director Naishe Nyamubaya, Producer Sue-Ellen Chitunya
Fantastic Tale; Writer/Director Vincho Nchogu, Producer Joshua Olaoluwa
The Red Sea International Film Festival kicked off its inaugural edition in 2021, following a missed edition slated for March of 2020, and cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic. The Red Sea IFF aims to 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 buzzing industry market, designed for global exchange and partnerships between the international and Saudi film industries. The four-day market offers a packed program 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.
For more information about Red Sea IFF check out their website.