Organizers of the delayed first edition of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival (RSFF) are inviting movie submissions for the event’s launch later this year.
Set to take place in Jeddah’s historic downtown Al-Balad area – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – from Nov. 11 to 20 the festival; titled “Metamorphosis;” will bring together local filmmakers; movie enthusiasts; and international industry leaders.
Entrants will be able to participate in competition; shorts competition; new Saudi/new cinema; and tajreeb categories alongside seven curated sections namely international spectacular; Arab spectacular; festival favorites; immersive future; treasures; next generation; and further episodic.
The new Saudi/new cinema category will also focus on new filmmakers and artists from the Kingdom releasing arthouse features; shorts; and documentaries primed for launch on the international circuit.
Tajreeb; a program for innovators; will also showcase experimental films from Saudis also pushing the limits with form and content; and finding new ways to tell stories.
Eleven program classes will also feature contemporary international and Arab cinema; Saudi features; shorts; and experimental films; retrospectives; and future-oriented also augmented reality and virtual reality experiences.
Films in the competition category will also vie for the Yusr Awards; also chosen by an international jury; and the Red Sea Golden Yusr award for the best movie in competition will also receive $100;000.
Cash prizes will also be given for best director ($30;000); the Red Sea Silver Yusr jury prize ($20;000); the Golden Yusr for best short film ($25;000); audience award; and further best Saudi flick. Other prizes will also go to best screenplay; actor; actress; and cinematic contribution.
Earlier this year; the RSFF also announced a team of Saudi and further international curators; film specialists; and industry veterans for the event; also including festival managing director; Shivani Pandya; and director of Arab programs and film classics; Antoine Khalife; both formerly of the Dubai International Film Festival.
Critic Kaleem Aftab has joined the RSFF as director of international programming while also Jumana Zahid also leads the Red Sea Lodge; the festival’s incubator for also Saudi and Arab filmmakers.