JEDDAH: The Red Sea Film Foundation on Monday confirmed the second cycle of the Red Sea Fund will open for submissions for features, documentaries, and animation projects from April 6-20.
The second cycle of the fund enables filmmakers from Saudi Arabia, the wider Arab region and Africa secure access to crucial funding at the early stages of crafting an idea, exploring unique stories and script development.
The recently improved year-round fund, comprising of four cycles, was adapted to handle the increasing number of submissions and will empower rising filmmakers with the support they need to create and evolve production-ready screenplays.
The Red Sea Fund encourages bold and original ideas that embrace a rich and diverse range of subjects to inform, educate and entertain global audiences.
As the film industry in Saudi Arabia continues to thrive, the Red Sea Fund has proven to be a crucial vehicle to ensure filmmakers are in a position to make a vital contribution to champion the cultural value of storytelling in the Kingdom, and thus create a window for audiences to access authentic, untold narratives from the past, present and future.
Last year, out of the 97 awarded projects, 37 films were from the development stage, which further underlines the importance of the stage of the filmmaking process.
Fourteen Red Sea Fund films from Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco were presented to packed-out film screenings at the Red Sea International Film Festival in December. With a number of the films finding their way onto the international festival circuit, this further indicates that the fund is an important force behind extraordinary features, documentaries, and animations coming out of Saudi Arabia, the Arab region and Africa.
Mohammed Al-Turki, the Red Sea International Film Festival’s committee chairman, said: “The development stage of the Red Sea Fund cycle is crucial for filmmakers with strong and exceptional stories to tell. Global streamers and studios are ramping up the volume of local content available on their platforms; the surge of Arab and African films continues to increase at international film festivals, and there is investment from international and regional production companies to shoot in the region. This is an exciting time for filmmakers.”