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Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Fest Reveals 2022 Lineup; Appoints Oliver Stone as chairman of the jury and “What to do with love?” Like an opening film

Oliver Stone will preside over the jury of the main competition of the second edition Red Sea International Film Festivalfulfilling a promise to take part in this role that dates back to 2020.

Winner of the “Oscar” award. Born on the Fourth of July and Natural born killers the director was previously announced as president of the jury for the first festival in 2020, which was postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival, which runs from December 1 to 10 in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, on Monday unveiled most of the line-up for its second edition

At the moment, 131 full-length and short films from 61 countries will be shown at the event, 34 of them are world premieres; 17, regional premieres, and 47, MENA premieres.

In the main competition, dedicated to the works of Arab, African and Asian directors, 15 films will be shown, with possible additions.

Among them is the world premiere of the Moroccan and French director Omar Mulduiri Summer in Buzhadaabout a teenager raised in Paris who tries to find his place in a new blended family in Morocco after his widowed father remarries.

Two Saudi films are also making their debut in competition: Mohammed Al Salman Song of the raven, follow a man diagnosed with a brain tumor just as he meets the woman of his dreams and Mo Alatavi In the sandabout a young tobacconist who was ambushed by thieves on his way home to his pregnant wife.

Among the African contenders is Angolan director Eri Claver Mother of God from a Chinese shop, an allegory about the current state of Africa that revolves around an imported plastic model of the Virgin Mary that supposedly has special powers. The film debuted in Locarno in the summer.

Kenyan editor turned screenwriter and director Angela Wanjiku The pit, follows a once-respected English teacher fresh out of prison as he rebuilds his life in the rural Kenyan village of Shimoni, which translates as “the pit.” The feature debuted in the Discovery section of Toronto.

Other 2022 festival hits in the line-up include Indonesian director Kamila Andini’s drama about post-independence women Before and Then (Nana), premiered at a competition in Berlin; Lotfi Nathan’s story about the popular uprising in Tunisia Harkawhich made its Un Certain Regard Cannes debut, and the Cannes Critics’ Choice Award for Korean director Julie Jung Next is Sohee.

Venetian titles in the mix include Syrian director Sudad Qaadan Nice, The last queen Algerian director duo Damien Unouri and Adila Bendimerad, Dirty Complicated Dangerous Lebanese and French director Wissam Charaf, Hanging gardens Iraqi director Ahmed Yassin Al-Daraji and Kazakh director Eldar Shibanov Mountain onion.

Other contenders include this year’s Indian Oscar, an ode to cinema The last movie session Mr. Nalin and Iranian director Reza JamiA childless villagewhich revolves around an elderly filmmaker who returns to the village where he once shot an investigative documentary about unexplained infertility, only to discover that things are not as they seemed at the time.

“The films selected for the Red Sea competition, some of which received important support from the Red Sea Foundation, span different genres and eras and are created by a wide range of incredibly talented filmmakers,” said Antoine Khalif, Director. of Arabic programs and film classics for RedSeaIFF.

“The Arab actors shine in extremely complex roles, while the directors identify with the characters in all their complexity, and we are confronted with pity, redemption, bravery, selfishness and revenge, but also love in all its aspects. “

Kaleem Aftab, Director of International Programming at RedSeaIFF, added that the number of entries has increased significantly this year following the successful inaugural edition of the festival.

“Hard decisions had to be made,” he said. We were delighted by the extraordinary storytelling, and this year’s selection is of the highest standard, showcasing the immense depth and diversity of stories from Asia, Africa and the Arab world.”

Films of opening, closing, gala track

Valley Road, Red Sea International Film Festival

The festival also announced Indian director Shekhar Kapur’s cross-cultural romantic comedy What does love have to do with it?a red carpet will open the festival.

The film, starring Lily James as a London-based filmmaker who heads to Lahore with his best friend (Shazad Latif) to document his journey into an arranged marriage, premiered in Toronto.

Drama by Saudi writer and director Khaled Fahd Valley Road was announced as the closing film.

The culturally groundbreaking story follows the journey of an autistic boy growing up in a beautiful mountain village after he gets lost on his way to see a doctor in a nearby village.

Other red carpet names include Saudi director Fahad Alammari Alkhalat+. A spin-off of the popular online series Al-Khallatwhich has amassed 1.5 billion views over 22 episodes, the anthology film covers four stories of deception and fraud in unlikely places.

The red carpet program also features Lara Saba All roads lead to RomeHirakazu Kore-eda Broker, Martin McDonagh Banshee Inisherina, Park Chan-wook’s decision to leave, Simon Mendes Empire of lightZeyada Alhusayni How I got thereby John Ikram Sowers Kamla, Joel Crawford Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Yasmin Benkiran‘s Queens, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s Rebel and Ruben Estlund Triangle of sadness.

Apart from the main competition and red carpet shows, other side panels will cover Festival Favourites, New Saudi/New Cinema, Red Sea: Treasures, Red Sea: Arab & International Spectacle, Red Sea: Family & Kids, Red Sea: Virtual Reality and the Red Sea : Series.

This release also features a new feature, Red Sea: A New Vision, dedicated to filmmakers pushing the boundaries of creativity with a genre-defining style of filmmaking that challenges audiences.

“Our programmers have curated the best of Arabic and international cinema, gala concerts featuring some of the most anticipated films of the year, and an exceptional selection of amazing new Saudi talent paving the way for our country’s thriving industry,” said RedSeaIFF CEO Mohammed Al Turki.

As part of the festival, a program of talks with award-winning directors was also presented Fatih AkinGurinder Chad and Kaawter Ben Hania, as well as Egyptian actress Mona Zaki and veteran Egyptian actor Hussein Fahmy.

Industrial initiatives

In line with its mission to support the growth of the TV and film industry in the Saudi Arabia and in the wider Middle East and North Africa region, the festival will also host the second edition of its industrial platform Red Sea Souk.

The event includes an exhibition space showcasing local companies and film and television initiatives, a program of talks and a project market showcasing 23 upcoming films by Arab and African directors.

“The country is rapidly consolidating its position as a center for film, culture, art and fashion, becoming a world-class film production hub,” said RedSeaIFF Managing Director Shivani PandyaMalhotra.

“Red Sea IFF is at the heart of this transformation, providing a platform to showcase a new generation full of energy and creativity. Through Red Sea Souk, we are able to support filmmakers at all stages of their careers, and our programs throughout the year follow the full cycle of filmmaking.”


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