Red Sea Souk, Red Sea Lodge and works-in-progress projects are announces for upcoming second edition of Red Sea IFF

Among those participating this year are next projects by Egyptian-American director Lotfy Nathan, Palestinian documentarian Mahdi Fleifel, Iraqi-Italian filmmaker Haider Rashid and Syrian-Palestinian helmer Ameer Fakher Eldin -- but also the talented wonder women Sofia Djama from Algeria and Sara Mesfer from Saudi Arabia.
Red Sea Souk, Red Sea Lodge and works-in-progress projects are announces for upcoming second edition of Red Sea IFF

The Red Sea Souk, a crucial platform designed to discover and connect Arab and African filmmakers to the international film community, has announced its selection for the Red Sea Souk Project Market and the Work-In-Progress Showcase.

As part of the Red Sea International Film Festival, the Project Market and the Work-In-Progress Showcase are hosted within the Red Sea Souk, which is now in its second edition and will run December 3–6, 2022. The Red Sea Souk offers comprehensive industry programs, unbeatable access to the vibrant new Saudi scene, and the best of the Arab market.

This project incubator seems to include the hottest and most anticipated projects this year, including one from Egyptian American helmer Lotfy Nathan, whose last project Harka was in Cannes this year, and Ameer Fakher Eldin, whose film The Stranger was Palestine's entry to the Oscar race for 2021. A welcomed sign of things getting better in the Region is also the presence of a project co-backed by Qatar, which until early 2021 was a country embargoed by Saudi and its allies in the Gulf and beyond.

The Red Sea Souk selection continues to expand its borders and create bridges with independent cinema in Europe and the USA, positioning itself as a platform for future collaborations to increase the international reach of Arab and African stories. Ten feature debuts and eight from established directors represent the diversity of the selection and embody strong artistic voices bound for the screen.

Ten films that took part in the Red Sea Souk last year (some participants are pictured above), supported by the Red Sea Fund, have been selected for some of the world’s most prestigious festivals ever since, including the Cannes Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival.

The Project Market is the perfect place to pick up the latest projects from an exciting generation of new and established voices, connecting filmmakers and financiers from across the globe through one-to-one meetings to explore potential collaborations. 

The first edition of the Market proved instrumental in instigating those vital first introductions; over 560 meetings were hosted, and the Red Sea Souk welcomed 3,115 industry film professionals and media representatives. This year, over 350 distributors, producers, buyers, financiers, sales companies, festival representatives, and commissioners will be on-ground to meet with the projects.

All selected projects will compete for cash prizes offered by the Red Sea Fund, to be awarded by two juries. The Project Market jury will award $35,000 for development, $35,000 for the Jury Special Mention Award, and $100,000 for production. All selected films in the Work-In-Progress Showcase will compete for the Red Sea Souk Post-Production Award of $30,000. Participating projects are also eligible for additional awards funded by the Red Sea Souk sponsors and partners.

The Project Market will also present the eleven Red Sea Lodge projects developed throughout the year during intensive workshops in partnership with the Torino Film Lab. Following development and meetings with industry professionals, two projects will be awarded the annual Red Sea Lodge production prizes of $100,000 each.

On the other hand, the Work-in-Progress Showcase is already building a solid legacy. It will present six films in post-production — the first directors’ cuts — from selected independent filmmakers to distributors, producers, buyers, financiers, and festival programmers, in addition to creatives, for future collaboration to bring these films to fruition and screens.

Myriam Arab, Red Sea Souk consultant, said: “I’m thrilled to announce the selection for our second year. Following the success of our inaugural edition, we have seen an increase in submissions from established and emerging filmmakers who are redefining filmmaking in the region. There is an increased appetite for content. Combined with the region's sheer amount and diverse array of talents and stories to be told, the Red Sea Souk is a vital platform supporting independent filmmakers in the Arab world and Africa.”

The Red Sea Souk Project Market are: 

Behind the Palm Trees by Meryem Benm’Barek (Morocco/France/Belgium)

Darwin in Taif by Maha Al-Saati (Saudi Arabia/Canada)

I Am Coming for You by Cyrielle Raingou (Cameroon)

Gura by Lotfy Nathan (Egypt/USA)

Men in the Sun by Mahdi Fleifel (Palestine/United Kingdom/Greece/The Netherlands/Denmark)

She Was Not Alone by Hussein Al-Asadi (Iraq)

Tigris by Haider Rashid (Iraq/Italy) 

Trip to Jerusalem by Gaby Zarazir and Michel Zarazir (Lebanon/France)

Vagabonds by Amartei Armar (Ghana/France)

Where is the Healer? by Tebogo Malebogo (South Africa/USA)

Wolfmother by Ismaël El Iraki (Morocco/France)

Yunan by Ameer Fakher Eldin (Syria/Palestine/Germany/France/Italy)

The Red Sea Lodge Projects included in the Project Market:

The Settlement by Mohammed Rashad (Egypt)  

Yajuj by Fahmi Farahat (Saudi Arabia)

The Last Argument Against Youth by Mohammed Algebreen (Saudi Arabia) 

A Quarter to Thursday in Algiers by Sofia Djama (Algeria) 

You Were the Poet, and I Thought I Existed by Sara Mesfer (Saudi Arabia)   

Tahweedah by Omar Al Omirat (Saudi Arabia) 

Bubblegum Brigades by Samah El Kadi (Lebanon) 

Dancing On Fire by Hana Alomair (Saudi Arabia)     

Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore by Morad Mostafa (Egypt)   

Dogmas by Salah Issaad (Algeria)    

Scapegoat by Feras Al-musharrei (Saudi Arabia) 

Red Sea Souk Work-In-Progress Showcase selected projects are: 

Banel e Adama by Ramata-Toulaye Sy (France/ Senegal/ Mali)

Concrete Land by Asmahan Bkerat (Jordan)

Hounds by Kamal Lazraq (France, Morocco, Belgium)

Jewfro by Jack Markovitz (South Africa)

The Burdened by Amr Gamal (Yemen/Sudan/ Saudi Arabia)

The Mother of All Lies by Asmae El Moudir (Morocco/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Egypt)

For all information, check out the Red Sea IFF website.

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