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Red Sea International Film Festival

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival will take place from December 6 -15, 2021 with live dailies on

The Red Sea International Film Festival brings the best in Arab and World Cinema to Jeddah Old Town. The Festival showcases exciting new films on the Saudi big-screen, alongside retrospective programs celebrating the masters of cinema, the latest Saudi films, and feature and short film competitions. There are also industry events and workshops nurturing the next generation of talent.


Impressive opening of the Red Sea International Film Festival

What a treat of an opening film celebrating the power of the words!.

Cyrano, from director Joe Wright and starring Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, and Kelvin Harrison Jr.

A very touching and smart adaptation of the classic play by Edmond Rostand, which has already inspired so many great talents, a few musicals and great films : Jean-Paul Rappeneau (starring a magnificent Depardieu), or Roxanne the 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Fred Schepisi and starring Steve Martin and Daryl Hannah (which I have distributed on the french market on my Sony days).

The production design is simply astonishing well served by very entertaining musical performances? Altogether an incredible visual accomplishment in a somewhat difficult musical film genre.
It reminded me of the visual panache of Baz Luhrmann's works (Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge...) 

PS: Romeo & Juliet was my best memory in my Fox days running the joint venture with UGC and Fox (ahead of ID4).

More now from Jeddah and a very crowded red carpet event!




The Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF) raised the curtain this evening with the Festival’s first ever red carpet for its opening film, award-winning British director Joe Wright’s ‘Cyrano’ in Jeddah’s UNESCO World Heritage Site old-town (Al Balad), nestled on the eastern shore of the Red Sea.

The global film industry descended on the Festival’s Opening Ceremony, with Arab stars and filmmakers including Hany Abu-Assad, Amira Diab, Mohamed Henedy, Inas ElDeghedy, Saba Mubarak, Nelly Karim, Imed Marzouk, Lebleba, Hala Sedki, Najib BelKadhi and Elham Shaheen.

International talents included: Anthony Mackie, Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Cassel, Clive Owen, Thierry Frémaux, Hilary Swank, Michele Morrone, Stephen Dorff, Jon Kortajarena, Alejandra Onieva, Tina Kunakey, Alessandra Ambrosio, Candice Swanepoel, Sara Sampaio, Irina Shayk, Sasha Luss, Alton Mason, Rick Yune, Sonia Ben Ammar, Shanina Shaik, and Lena Perminova in attendance.



Saudi filmmakers and actors were out in force to celebrate the landmark occasion, the line-up included hosts of the evening Yaqoub AlFarhan and Fatima Al Banawi, and in attendance: Waheed Jamjoom, Hassan Assiri, Yousef Al Jarrah, Khalid Alfarraj, Yassir Alsaggaf, Ali Kalthami, Mohammed Abu Hamdan, Faisak Al Dokhy, Mohammed Aldokhy, Ibrahim AlKhairallah, Alaa Faden, Godus Brothers, Mila AlZahrani, Elham Ali & Khalid Saqr, Meshal Aljasser, Baraa Alem, Khalid Alharbi, Alanoud Saoud, Saad AbdulAziz, and Abdullah Dhahran.

Also in attendance were all members of the Red Sea: Features Competition Jury: Jury chair, Academy Award-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore, Cherien Dabis, Hind Sabri, Daniela Michel and Abdulaziz Alshlahei, as well as members of the Red Sea: Shorts Jury, Ahd Kamel and Khader Ayderus.

During the ceremony the Festival honoured three outstanding women for their extraordinary contribution to cinema and to drive the Festival’s mission to celebrate incredible women in film. From Saudi Arabia, multi award-winning filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour, Academy Award and BAFTA nominated French actress Catherine Deneuve and acclaimed Egyptian actress Laila Eloui.

The Festival also honoured Jack Lang, President of the Institut du Monde Arabe and former Minister of Culture and Minister of Education, in recognition of his incredible efforts to promote relations between Saudi Arabia and France and integral role in building a cultural bridge between the Arab world and France.

The first edition boasts 138 feature films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages from both established and emerging talent, with a number of filmmakers and actors in attendance for many of the films. The slate of new Saudi films will be shown alongside the best of new international cinema, featuring 27 new films from an exciting wave of Saudi filmmakers.


Mohammed Al-Turki, Chairman of the RedSeaIFF Festival Committee, said: “It is a true honour to host such a wealth of both international and Arabic talent at our Opening Ceremony, in a celebration of filmmaking unlike any other that the Kingdom has seen before. Over the next ten days, we will honour the very best of filmmaking from our region and beyond, and we could not have wished for a better way to begin, than tonight. The Festival is a watershed moment for our burgeoning Saudi film industry, and the Opening Ceremony has set a high bar of what is to come in our Festival’s future.”

Diner Party ended the beautiful evening in high volume!.

Held at nearby South Park Al Balad, with Wyclelf Jean, Haitian singer (former member of FUGEES) and Artbat  DJ duo from Kiev (Artur and Batish).


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