JEDDAH: The third Red Sea International Film Festival will be held in Jeddah from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9 under the “Your Story, Your Festival” theme.
A pivotal component of the Red Sea Film Foundation is the Red Sea Labs which runs the Lodge feature film development program, conducted in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab and sponsored by the Film AlUla.
After the resounding success of its previous outings, the fourth Red Sea Lodge Program returns under the umbrella of Red Sea Labs.
The Red Sea Lab is an initiative of the Red Sea Film Foundation, aimed at empowering filmmakers, writers and industry professionals to realize their creative visions.
Ryan Ashore, the head of Red Sea Labs, emphasized the significance of progress in bringing in new regions during a media dialogue session on Monday at Jeddah’s Ritz Carlton.
Ashore told Arab News: “This is the fourth year for the Lodge, and there has been significant progress in entering new regions, as two projects from Africa joined us, making a total of 12 projects, five Saudi projects and other five Arab projects.”
“The notable renaissance in African cinema is evident, but they need support for their talents. As a global foundation, we have learned that including them in regions that require development in the film industry is essential.
“We started the program in AlUla in various areas of the city because it is the main sponsor. After 10 months of training, participants will present their films at the Red Sea Film Souk to compete for prizes, as now they have scripts, pitch deck and ready for production.”
The program aims to support emerging filmmakers in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and Africa. Selected projects will benefit from opportunities such as access to a wide network of creative mentors and cinema professionals.
The Lodge presents a total of $200,000 that is $50,000 for four projects.
Among the selected projects from the Kingdom are “In the Beginning it is the End” by Ghadeer Binabbas, “The Night Whisperer” by Lina Mahmoud, “Mecca, Berlin” by Mujtaba Saeed, “By Hasnaa’s Side” by Amaal Yousef, and “The Middle One” by Sarah Mohammed Almuneef.
The Arab region is represented by projects such as “An Endless Night” by Mohamed Kassaby, “The Girl and The Missing Bed” by Samer Battikhi, “Temporary Lives” by Wessam Hachicho, “The Sun Seens Everything” by Wissam Tanios, and “My Father Killed Bourguiba” by Fatma Riahi.
Meanwhile, African projects include “Black Snake” by Naishe Nyamubaya and “Fantastic Tale” by Vincho Nchogu.
Another program under Red Sea Labs is “Music for Film,” an intensive on-site training program conducted over the course of a week. This program is designed to develop the skills of musicians in film scoring and music composition.
“Music is an integral part of the story,” Ashore said.
The program offers a comprehensive curriculum rich in technical dimensions and tools encompassing the skills that a composer needs to create original music to the highest standards, as well as many masterclasses and workshops.
“We received 150 applicants, and only seven were selected. The first thing we highlighted is the distinction between songwriting and film music composition, a difference that is not small at all,” Ashore said.
He added: “It was a great success to have seven Saudi composers that we were not aware of their existence. The main goal of this program is to equip these talented individuals with a new set of skills that they can apply to larger projects. We are promoting them so that they can secure actual work for short films, a starting point for them. One of them has already begun composing for a TV series.”