JEDDAH: The Red Sea International Film Festival announced on Thursday that the Red Sea Souk — “an initiative designed to discover and connect Arab and African filmmakers from the region” — will host its first edition in Jeddah from Dec. 8-11 as part of the festival.
The Red Sea Souk will, according to a press release, “comprise a Project Market, screenings of films in-progress, an exhibition space hosting the main players of the region, high-level panels and industry talks and many networking opportunities with more than 350 industry professionals and decision-makers from around the world.”
“In creating the Red Sea Souk, (we are) continuing to show our dedication to championing new talent that will showcase the diversity of unfamiliar stories and open the doors for industry-backed professional development and networking support,” RSFF artistic director Edouard Waintrop said in the release.
“The selected projects for the first edition stand out as bold and compelling narratives that will allow us to better understand the region and beyond. I’m excited to see these projects eventually reach audiences around the world,” he said.
Three cash prizes will be offered to featured projects by the Red Sea Fund. The Project Market jury will award $25,000 for development and $100,000 for production, and the Films in Progress jury will grant $30,000 for post-production.
Jurors include Palestinian director, writer, and producer of “Wajib,” “When I Saw You,” and “Salt of the Sea,” Annemarie Jacir; poet, scriptwriter, and founder of the Saudi Film Festival, Ahmed Al-Mulla; the general director of Burkina Faso-based film festival Fespaco, Alex Moussa Sawadogo; and producer of “The Gravedigger’s Wife,” “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” and “It Must be Heaven,” Thanassis Karathanos. Other jury members will be announced in the near future.
RSFF managing director Shivani Pandya Malhotra said in the press release: “Our aim is to create an established, vibrant film ecosystem that both supports and attracts exciting confirmed and emerging Arab and African talents to develop their projects within an international space, while also retaining what is unique and diverse about our burgeoning film industry. There is huge potential in the region and the Red Sea Souk is the perfect platform to discover, develop and fund new and exciting writers, directors and producers to further build their presence within the industry and on the global stage.”
The first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will take place in Jeddah from December 6 - 15.
Selected films in post-production for the Red Sea Souk Films in Progress workshop
- “Contra” by Lotfy Nathan (Tunisia, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany)
- “Fragments From Heaven” by Adnane Baraka (Morocco, France, Qatar)
- “Abdelinho” by Hicham Ayouch (Morocco, France)
- “Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous” by Wissam Charaf (France, Lebanon, Italy)
- “The Cemetery of Cinema” by Thierno Souleymane Diallo (Guinea, France, Senegal)
Selected projects for the Red Sea Souk Project Market
- “Coura + Ouleye” by Iman Djionne (Senegal)
- “Akashinga” by Naishe Nyamubaya (Zimbabwe, France, Germany, South Africa)
- “Passing Dreams” by Rashid Masharawi (Palestine, United Kingdom, Sweden)
- “Zaïria” by Machérie Ekwa (Congo)
- “Carnaval” by Mohamed Siam (Egypt, Kuwait, France)
- “Montreal” by Ameen Nayfeh (Jordan)
- “Birthday” by Lara Zeidan (Lebanon, France)
- “Last Trip” by Ziad Kalthoum (Syria, Germany, Poland)
- “The Seasons of Jannet” by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia)
- “Carnamal” by Ali Kalthami (Saudi Arabia)
- “Aïcha” by Mehdi M. Barsaoui (Tunisia, France)