DUBAI: The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival, set to take place from Dec. 6-15, announced on Wednesday the five feature films and selection of shorts that will be presented as part of its Red Sea: Next Generation section.
The movies will feature productions created for younger audiences, shining a spotlight on animation films, dramas and documentaries from all around the world.
Besides the Arab premiere screenings, the festival will present a wide variety of activities and events, aimed at including younger festival goers.
The artistic director Edouard Waintrop said in a statement: “We are proud to put such a strong focus on young people’s cinema at the festival. It is so important to us at the RedSeaIFF to remain inclusive of young people, given that these young people will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the burgeoning Saudi film industry as it progresses into the future.”
The event will see the Arab premiere of Illumination’s highly anticipated animated feature “Sing 2,” written and directed by award-winning British director Garth Jennings.
This film sees Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey, and his performers preparing to launch a stage extravaganza. It stars Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton and many more.
Spanish director Manuel Calvo will present his directorial debut “Champions” starring Saudi actors Fatima El-Banawy and Yasser Sagaf. Arrogant and easily riled, Khaled is assistant coach of a top Saudi football team. A show of temper after a match lands him in disciplinary court, and condemned to the worst punishment for his inflated ego: community service coaching a team of players with intellectual disabilities.
“Belle: The Dragon and the Freckled Princess,” written and directed by Academy Award-nominated Mamoru Hosoda, will have its Arab premiere at the festival.
The anime feature tells the story of high school student Suzu, who lives with her father in a Japanese village. She discovers U, a virtual world where everyone’s avatar reflects their secret strengths.
In her second feature documentary, “Bigger Than Us,” French director Flore Vasseur focuses on a generation rising to fix the world. In the film, Melati, an 18-year-old girl, fights the plastic pollution ravaging her home, Indonesia, for six years.
She travels the globe to meet others like her: a volunteer with Refugee Rescue in Lesbos, a young Ugandan campaigning for a ban on underage marriages, and an 18-year-old refugee, who founded a school in Lebanon.
“Kiddomania” is a selection of short animated films from directors Nicolas Deveaux, Benjamin Flouw, Remy Dupont, Paulin Cointot, Paul Emile Boucher, Gaspard Roche, Patrick Jean, Evalds Lacis, Paul Bush, Eric Montchaud and Antoine Robert.
The screening will also be accompanied by games.
The closing night of the festival will see the world premiere of award-winning Egyptian writer and director Amr Salama’s latest feature “Bara El Manhag.” It tells the story of Nour, a 13-year-old orphan living in the countryside in the early 1980s, who is a compulsive liar with vision problems.
To gain the respect of his fellow classmates, he ventures inside a haunted house where he finds a solitary old man who’s hiding from the world. A friendship is born between the boy and the old man, initiating a journey of self-discovery.