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RED SEA 2023

The Red Sea Film Festival all set to kick off its third edition

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- The Saudi Arabian gathering weighs anchor on 30 November with the motto “Your story, your festival”, and with European films and co-productions scattered around its programme

The Red Sea Film Festival all set to kick off its third edition
Behind the Mountains by Mohamed Ben Attia

As Saudi Arabia works hard to become a regional hub for filmmaking, the third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival is all set to unspool in the city of Jeddah from 30 November-9 December. The gathering boasts a film programme and guests from the MENA region as well as Europe, Asia, the Americas and Australia. German actress Diane Kruger will be celebrated with an Honorary Award, along with Indian actor Ranveer Singh and Saudi thesp Abdullah Al-Sadhan.

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Seventeen films are in the running for the festival’s top prize, the Golden Yusr, in the international competition, with as many as eight titles being co-productions with Europe. The award hopefuls are Inshallah a Boy [+see also:
film review
trailer
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]
by Amjad Al Rasheed (Jordan/Saudi Arabia/Egypt/France/Qatar), Behind the Mountains [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mohamed Ben Attia
film profile
]
 by Mohamed Ben Attia (Tunisia/France/Belgium/Italy/Saudi Arabia/Qatar), Norah by Tawfik Alzaidi (Saudi Arabia), Hiding Saddam Hussein [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
 by Halkawt Mustafa (Norway/Iraq), Backstage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Afef Ben Mahmoud, Khalil Be…
film profile
]
 by Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane (Morocco/Tunisia/Belgium/France/Qatar/Norway/Saudi Arabia), The Teacher [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
 by Farah Nabulsi (UK/Palestine/Qatar), Dalma by Humaid Alsuwaidi (UAE), Mandoob by Ali Kalthami (Saudi Arabia), Six Feet Over by Karim Bensalah (Algeria/France), Dear Jassi by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar (India), In Flames by Zarra Khan (Pakistan/Canada), Wakhri (One of a Kind) by Iram Parveen Bilal (Pakistan/USA), Sunday by Shokir Kholikov (Uzbekistan), Tiger Stripes [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Amanda Nell Eu
film profile
]
 by Amanda Nell Eu (Malaysia/Taiwan/Singapore/France/Germany/Netherlands/Indonesia/Qatar), Roxana by Parviz Shahbazi (Iran), Omen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Baloji
film profile
]
 by Baloji (Belgium/Netherlands/DRC) and Evil Does Not Exist by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (Japan).

Baz Luhrmann is heading up the jury comprising actors Joel Kinnaman, and actresses Freida Pinto, Amina Khalil and Paz Vega, who will hand out a sizeable clutch of awards, including the aforementioned Golden Yusr for Best Film, the Best Actor Award and the Jury Award, which come with cash prizes of $100,000, $30,000 and $20,000, respectively. The Red Sea: Shorts competition has its own jurors – filmmaker and critic Hana Alomair, actor Assad Bouab and director Fatih Akin.

The Red Sea IFF has also programmed sections called New Saudi/New Cinema, Arab Spectacular, Red Sea: Festival Favourites, Red Sea: Families and Children, Red Sea: New Vision, and Red Sea: Series.

The Red Sea Souk industry sidebar offers a selection of panels on new forms of storytelling, how to capture the audience and co-producing with MENA-region countries, as well as a presentation of works in progress. In addition, the festival will celebrate films that have been supported by either its Red Sea Souk grant programme or work-in-progress showcase awards: Four Daughters [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
by Kaouther Ben Hania, Omen by Baloji and Goodbye Julia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mohamed Kordofani
film profile
]
by Mohamed Kordofani are among them.

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