The Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF), today announced the selection of 12 projects from new and exciting voices from Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab region who have been selected for the Red Sea Lodge, a mentoring programme in collaboration with the Torino Film Lab, which is a key part of the festival’s drive to support and promote talent.
At the first edition of the Festival in December, The Red Sea Lodge 2021 winners were The Zarqa Girl by Zaid Abuhamdan and The Photographer of Madina (crew photographed above) by Dalyah Bakheet and each project received a grant of US$ 100,000.
The Red Sea Lodge schedule is made up of 5 intensive labs designed to take a diversity of talent at the early stages of their career through the essentials of filmmaking to bring authentic stories to the screen.
The 8 month-long programme has been designed to nurture and support emerging talent, improve access to Arab content and drive the potential of Arab talent on the international stage. The final workshop will take place during the second edition of the Festival which is scheduled to run from 1-10 December in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Of the 12 projects selected, 6 are from KSA while the other projects are from Egypt, Algeria, and Lebanon, with 50 percent of the participants directed, produced, and written by women. As the Saudi film industry continues to flourish and strives to become the Middle East’s main film production hub, cinemas are reporting exponential growth and international productions are heading to shoot in the Kingdom which presents an undoubtedly opportune time for filmmakers breaking into the industry.
The selection committee features leading industry experts, including Savina Neirotti, Executive Director at TorinoFilmLab; Violeta Bava, Head of Studies at TorinoFilmLab; Jumana Zahid, Red Sea Lodge Manager; Shivani Pandya Malhotra, Managing Director of the Red Sea International Festival; Antoine Khalife, Director of the Arab Program, at Red Sea International Film Festival; and Kaleem Aftab Director of International Programming at Red Sea International Film Festival.
Also supporting the committee are Faiza Ambah, a Saudi Arabian film writer-director; Mohamed Sayed, an Egyptian film critic and scriptwriter; and Ziad Seaibi a Lebanese actor and lecturer at Notre Dame University.
Shivani Pandya Malhotra said: “Together with the Torino Film Lab we are thrilled to be unveiling the next 12 unique projects for The Red Sea Lodge. The feedback from past participants has been very encouraging and this year’s selection is an exciting slate of projects with bold cultural and social ambitions from a diverse selection of voices. The Red Sea Lodge is now building momentum and proving to be a vital support initiative which helps Arab talent to reach new heights in their film careers and ultimately amplify the impact of Saudi and Arab film around the world.”
The twelve projects just announced are listed below.
From Saudi Arabia:
- Seasons of Love & War, based on the novel Divers of the Desert, written by Amal Alfaran, director/screenplay Hana Alomair, co-writer/producer Soha Samir.
- A Last Argument Against Youth, writer/director Mohemmed Algbreen, producer Raghad Bajbaa.
- The Crow Nest, writer/director Feras Almusharrei, producer Razan Al Soghayer, co-writer Taqwa Ali.
- Al Qais, writer/director Lujain Hussain, co-writer/producer Abdulrahman Hakeem.
- Tahweedah, writer/director Omar Al Omirat, producer Asd Alkarimi.
- Yajuj: Curse Of Iram, director Fahmi Farahat, producer Jomana Alquraish, writer Murad Amayreh.
From the Arab world:
- The Settlement, Egypt/France, writer/director Mohamed Rashad, producer Hala Lotfy.
- A Quarter To Thursday In Algiers, Algeria/France, writer/director Sofia Djama, Aurélie Turc.
- Cain And Abel, Egypt/USA/France, director Dina Amer, producer Karim Amer, writer Omar Mullick.
- Dogmas, France/Algeria, writer/director Salah Issaad, producer Taqiyeddine Issaad.
- Bubblegum Brigades, Lebanon, director Samah El Kadi, producer Michelle Ayoub, writer Rani Nasr.
- Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore, Egypt, writer/director Morad Mostafa, producer Sawsan Yusuf.
The second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will run in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from December 1-10, 2022.