Film

Red Sea International Film Festival confirms the eight films in its Treasures section

The Treasures section celebrates award-winning and ground-breaking classics from both the Arab and international world
Red Sea International Film Festival confirms the eight films in its Treasures section

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF), which will stage its first edition from December 6-15, has announced the eight films making up its Treasures section, which will be shown for the first time on the big screen. The Treasures section celebrates award-winning and ground-breaking classics from both the Arab and international world.

Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of the (RedSeaIFF) said: “Although these films are considered classics, this will be the first time they will be seen on the big screen in Saudi Arabia. This is a particularly exciting time to show them, as it allows not only the celebration of these films once again, but also shows the ways in which they have inspired the latest generation of filmmakers.”

Antoine Khalife, Director of Arab Programs & Film Classics of the RedSeaIFF said: “These films represent not only classics of the Arab world, but also some truly iconic international gems. The mission of the Foundation is to preserve the heritage of cinema and so we are proud to be contributing to the restoration of many Arab films and global classic titles. We are thrilled not only to be able to share such a diverse collection of stories on the big screen, but also stories which are worthy of as much celebration now as they were when they were initially released.”

The films include Strawberry War (1994) directed by Egyptian director Khairy Beshara and starring Sami El Adl, Mahmoud Hemeida, and Yousra. The film has been restored with the support of the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation. Also showing is Raafat El-Mihi’s 1995 film A Little Love Much Violence; the 1979 Bengali-language mystery The Elephant from Indian director Satyajit Ray and Henry Barakat’s 1959 Egyptian drama The Nightingale’s Prayer which has been personally selected by Saudi filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour, who cites Barakat as an inspiration.

The Strawberry War

Also screening is Haifaa Al Mansour’s acclaimed 2012 film Wadjda, the first ever Saudi Arabian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards, and nominated for Best Foreign Film at the 2014 BAFTA Awards, as well as The Choice (1970) from Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine. The film was restored by the Red Sea Foundation with the support of Egypt’s Ministry of Culture in 2020.

French writer and director Thierry Frémaux’s 2016 documentary Lumière! takes audiences back to witness the birth of cinema, while the festival will also pay tribute to one of the most popular French actors, Jean-Paul Belmondo by presenting a montage of his main roles, prepared by the Lumière Institute, and by programming Pierrot le Fou in a restored version.

The inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will run in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from December 6-15, 2021.

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