Red Sea International Film Festival puts Saudi Arabia on big screen in 2020

Red Sea International Film Festival puts Saudi Arabia on big screen in 2020
The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival will be held from March 12-21, 2020 in the old town of Jeddah on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast. (Screenshot/RSIFF)
Updated 28 June 2019

Red Sea International Film Festival puts Saudi Arabia on big screen in 2020

Red Sea International Film Festival puts Saudi Arabia on big screen in 2020
  • The inaugural festival will run in Jeddah from March 12-21
  • Submissions will open for The Red Sea Lodge: ‘‘The New Arab Wave” Script & Feature Lab on July 1, 2019

JEDDAH: The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival will be held from March 12-21, 2020 in the old town of Jeddah on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast.
The first edition will bring the regional and international community together to experience the world’s best films, educational workshops, master classes, immersive art experiences, experimental projects and other cinematic events.
The festival’s ambitious mandate is to develop and promote the film industry in Saudi Arabia and become a vital event for discovering talent in the region, and to support a new wave of cinema from around the world with a focus on the “Global South.”
The festival will welcome local festival goers, filmmakers, actors, media and industry professionals to celebrate cinema.
The Red Sea Film Lodge: “The New Arab Wave,” a script and feature lab in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab that will open for submissions on July 1, 2019, has been launched by the festival.
The lab will select 12 Arab projects, of which at least six will be from Saudi filmmakers.
Filmmakers will participate in a five-month support program to develop their projects with national and international film industry experts.
The lodge will assign two $500,000 awards to the best projects from the script and feature lab, and additional awards to financially support the development of the projects.

NUMBER

$500,000

The Lodge script and feature lab will assign two half-a-million dollar awards to the best projects.

The festival’s film program aims to be robust and energetic, launching feature-length and short films with an emphasis on diversity in storytelling styles that push narrative form, embrace risk-taking in their ideas, and value craft.
The program will also showcase the best of Arab and international cinema. It will be led by festival director and CEO Mahmoud Sabbagh and his newly appointed senior personnel.
Hussain Currimbhoy, previously a documentary programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, will be artistic director, and Shivani Pandya Malhotra, who managed the Dubai International Film Festival for 15 years, will be managing director.
Industry veteran Antoine Khalife joins as director of the Arab Programme, Samaher Mously as director of marketing and communications, and Ibrahim Modir as head of operations.
They join acclaimed filmmaker Sabbagh and a team of Saudi and international programmers and executives with a mission to launch a dynamic platform for new films, energize the culture of cinema, develop talent, build a local industry, promote Saudi films regionally and internationally, create an active market and increase cultural exchange and understanding.
The festival is supported by the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization chaired by the Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan.
The foundation aims to champion the local film industry by nurturing national storytellers and original narratives through the festival and its year-long education, grants programs and market initiatives.
To apply to the Red Sea Film Lodge and for further information on rules and regulations, visit: www.redseafilmfest.com


Saudi Arabia ranked safest among G20 nations, according to international indicators

Updated 02 December 2020

Saudi Arabia ranked safest among G20 nations, according to international indicators

Saudi Arabia ranked safest among G20 nations, according to international indicators
  • Results ranked Kingdom ahead of five permanent UNSC members — US, Russia, China, UK and France

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s progress has led to the Kingdom ranking first among G20 nations for safety, outperforming the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC), international safety indicators showed on Wednesday.

The results were revealed through five security indicators included in the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, and the Sustainable Development Goals Index 2020 (SDG Index 2020).

The SDG index ranked the Kingdom first among G20 nations, and ahead of the five permanent UNSC members — US, Russia, China, UK and France — in the percentage of population who feel safe walking alone at night. Saudi Arabia also performed better than Canada within the G20 countries.

Saudi Arabia also ranked first in the reliability of police services index; an indicator which measures public confidence in law enforcement and its success in achieving order and safety. The Kingdom topped the G20, and surpassed the five permanent UNSC members in this index as well.

The Kingdom also outperformed the five UNSC countries in an index measuring the effectiveness of combating organized crime, as stated by the Global Competitiveness Report 2019. Saudi Arabia came in second in the same index among G20 nations.

The Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum also showed that the Kingdom advanced three positions, now ranking 36 globally in international competitiveness.

The report pointed out the Kingdom’s energetic steps forward to diversify its economy, with expectations of growth in the non-oil sector. The report also discussed the emergence of more investments outside the mining industry within the public and private sectors in the next few years.

The report commended the Kingdom's strong determination to undertake structural reforms, its widespread adoption of communication technology, and its high potential for innovation, especially in terms of patent registration.