JEDDAH: Can’t be bothered going out to the movies? No worries … in Jeddah, the movies are coming to you — and you can even be in one.
The Red Sea International Film Festival has launched film screenings and masterclasses as part of a community program to educate Saudi film enthusiasts on acting, directing, and producing.
The program has been launched in four Jeddah neighborhoods, with six screenings a day of films including “The Book of Sun,” “Baghdad Messi” and “Bekas,” chosen for their appeal to younger viewers.
And the program is not just about watching movies. Six directors and three actors from around the Kingdom will conduct masterclasses, shooting a scene in front of a live audience — some of whom will be selected to take part, as extras or as part of the crew.
The aim is to make the film industry accessible to people of all ages, specifically targeting young Saudis to inspire the next generation of filmmakers who might otherwise not have considered a career in the industry, said Edouard Waintrop, the festival’s artistic director.
“Saudi Arabia is rife with untapped talent, and it is among our priorities to enable our local talents to fulfill their potential,” he said.
“We have taken the film industry to the streets of Jeddah in an effort to educate, empower and spark an interest in youth by giving them the tools to succeed, and fostering their talent.
“Red Sea International Film Festival aims to be a pioneer in Saudi Arabia and globally, not just for the festival activities, collaborations and competitions, but also for the impact we leave on future generations with our community outreach programs.”
The new program is called Cinema Al-Hara, which roughly translates to alley or lane, and will run until Oct. 30.