JEDDAH: Under the theme of “Metamorphosis,” the first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival (RSFF) will take place from Nov. 11 to 20.
The festival is set to be launched in Al-Balad, Jeddah’s historic downtown, to celebrate cinema as a force for positive change. It will reflect on the impact of cinema’s triumphant return to Saudi Arabia since 2019, the blossoming film culture, and explore how cinema can create an interface connecting a new, outward-looking Saudi and the world.
The festival will consider how cinema has successfully adapted from analog to digital and now to new platforms delivering content and focus on the changing role of women.
The RSFF has also announced a team of Saudi and international curators, film specialists, and industry veterans, including the RSFF’s Managing Director Shivani Pandya and Director of Arab Programs & 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 Jumana Zahid leads the Red Sea Lodge, the festival’s incubator for Saudi and Arab filmmakers.
RSFF’s Souk Manager Zain Zedan is leading the festival’s industry platform for distributors and sales agents. The senior team, which has a 50/50 gender split, is completed by Ibrahim Modir, head of shared services.
The event looks to life beyond the coronavirus pandemic that postponed the festival’s debut in March 2020 and will bring together local film lovers, filmmakers, and international industry leaders. November’s event will be the largest annual celebration of cinema in the region.
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