JEDDAH: The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced a collaboration with the Venice Film Festival’s Final Cut workshop, an initiative led by the Venice Production Bridge that has been supporting work-in-progress films from African and Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, since 2013.
As part of the partnership, five films funded by the RSIFF will be presented during the festival. They are: “Nezouh” directed by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan; Iraqi director Ahmed Yassin Al-Daradj’s “Hanging Gardens;” Lebanese-French director Wissam Charaf’s “Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous;” French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri’s “The Last Queen;” and Moroccan director and writer Yasmine Benkiran’s “Queens.”
The 79th edition of Venice Film Festival, which begins on Aug. 31 and continues until Sept. 10, will also showcase 10 Arab and Middle Eastern films. And two films that received support from the RSIFF — “The Cemetery of Cinema,” a documentary directed by Thierno Souleymane Diallo, and the dark comedy “Inshallah A Boy,” by Amjad Al-Rasheed — are among eight that will be shown to producers, buyers, distributors, post-production companies and film festival programmers. One film will receive a financial award.
Pascal Diot, head of the VPB, said: “The Venice Production Bridge is honored to have the additional support of the Red Sea International Film Festival for our Final Cut in Venice workshop and, more generally, to have such a privileged relationship.
“The RSIFF has in a very few years become an unavoidable player in the MENA region and one of the key investors and supporters of Arab cinema and new immersive content.”
Mohammed Al-Turki, the CEO of the RSIFF, said: “We are thrilled to form a partnership with the Venice Film Production Bridge’s Final Cut in Venice program to strengthen our commitment to filmmakers from the region and bring more projects to fruition, so they can make the selection at the world’s most prestigious festivals.
“The caliber of films presented from the region this year is remarkable and they are guaranteed to make their mark on global audiences.”