The Red Sea Souk, an initiative designed to discover and connect Arab and African filmmakers from the region, will host its first edition this December 8 – 11, 2021 as part of the Red Sea International Film Festival.

It will comprise a Project Market, screenings of films in-progress, an exhibition space hosting the main players of the region, high-level panels and industry talks and many networking opportunities with industry professionals and decision-makers from around the world.

The Red Sea Souk is committed to supporting filmmakers from the Arab World and Africa and to offering them a platform where they can further develop and finance their projects and connect with the film industry. More than 350 professionals will be in attendance this December in Jeddah.

Three cash prizes are offered by the Red Sea Fund, to be awarded by two juries. The Project Market’s jury will award $25,000 for development and $100,000 for production and the Films In-Progress jury will grant $30,000 for post-production. Participating projects are also eligible for additional awards funded by the Red Sea Souk’s sponsors
and partners.

The acclaimed jury includes Palestinian director, writer and producer Annemarie Jacir (Wajib, When I Saw You, Salt of the Sea), poet, scriptwriter and founder of the Saudi Film Festival held in Dammam since 2008, Ahmed AlMulla, general director of the Fespaco, Alex Moussa Sawadogo and German producer Thanassis Karathanos (The Gravedigger’s Wife, The Man Who Sold His Skin, It Must be Heaven). Two more jury members will be announced soon.

Red Sea International Film Festival Artistic Director Edouard Waintrop explained: “In creating the Red Sea Souk, the Festival is continuing to show its dedication to championing new talent that will showcase the diversity of unfamiliar stories and open the doors for industry-backed professional development and networking support. The selected projects for the first edition stand out as bold and compelling narratives that will allow us to better understand the region and beyond. I’m excited to see these projects eventually reach audiences around the world.”

Managing Director Shivani Pandya Malhotra added: “Our aim is to create an established, vibrant film ecosystem that both supports and attracts exciting confirmed and emerging Arab and African talents to develop their projects within an international space, whilst also retaining what is unique and diverse about our burgeoning, young film industry.

There is huge potential in the region and the Red Sea Souk is the perfect platform to discover, develop and fund new and exciting writers, directors and producers to further build their presence within the industry and on the global stage.”
Selected films in post-production for the Red Sea Souk Films in-Progress Workshop are:
Contra by Lotfy Nathan (Tunisia, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany)
Fragments From Heaven by Adnane Baraka (Morocco, France, Qatar)
Abdelinho by Hicham Ayouch (Morocco, France)
Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous by Wissam Charaf (France, Lebanon, Italy)
The Cemetery of Cinema by Thierno Souleymane Diallo (Guinea, France, Senegal)
Selected projects for the Red Sea Souk Project Market are:
Coura + Ouleye by Iman Djionne (Senegal)
Akashinga (Working Title) by Naishe Nyamubaya (Zimbabwe, France, Germany, South Africa)
Passing Dreams by Rashid Masharawi (Palestine, United Kingdom, Sweden)
Zaïria by Machérie Ekwa (Congo)
Carnaval by Mohamed Siam (Egypt, Kuwait, France)
Montreal by Ameen Nayfeh (Jordan)
Birthday by Lara Zeidan (Lebanon, France)
Last Trip by Ziad Kalthoum (Syria, Germany, Poland)
The Seasons of Jannet by Mehdi Hmili (Tunisia)
Carnamal by Ali Kalthami (Saudi Arabia)
Aïcha by Mehdi M. Barsaoui (Tunisia, France)
The Project Market will also present the twelve Red Sea Lodge projects which have been developed throughout the year during intensive workshops, conducted in partnership with the TorinoFilmLab.
The Red Sea Lodge projects are:
Arab World:
The Zarqa Girl by Zaid Abu Hamdan (Jordan)
Seeking Haven for Mr. Rambo by Khaled Mansour (Egypt)
The Sea Needs to Heave by Zain Duraie (Jordan)
The Day of Wrath: Tales From Tripoli by Rania Rafei (Lebanon)
Road 250 by Haya Alghanim (Kuwait)
It’s A Sad And Beautiful World by Cyril Aris (Lebanon)
Saudi Arabia:
Fiery Eyes by Abduljalil Alnasser
Hala’s Aziz by Jowaher Alamri
Raoya – The Bookeeper by Mahmoud Zaini
The Photographer of Madina by Dalyah Bakheet
Within Sand by Moe Alatawi
Zeba by Abrar Abdulaziz
The first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will take place in Jeddah
KSA, December 6 – 15, 2021. Red Sea Souk activities will run from December 8 – 11,
Editors Notes:
Red Sea International Film Festival
The inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival is set to bring the best in Arab and World Cinema to the UNESCO world heritage site of Jeddah Old Town.
The Festival will showcase a compelling slate of new and diverse films, alongside a retrospective programme celebrating the masters of cinema as well as introducing audiences to exciting new voices from the region and beyond. The Festival will provide a platform for Arab filmmakers and industry professionals from around the world to connect,
host feature and short film competitions, and present a series of events, masterclasses, and workshops to support emerging talent.


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