The initiative will help support Arab and African filmmakers and offer them a platform to further develop and finance their projects and connect with the film industry.
Red Sea Souk, a Red Sea International Film Festival market initiative, has announced the film lineup and the jurors for its inaugural edition.
More than 350 professionals will be in attendance in Jeddah for the souk initiative, which will run from December 8 to 11. The film festival will take place in Jeddah from December 6-15, 2021.
Red Sea Souk will comprise a Project Market, screenings of films in progress, an exhibition space hosting the main players of the region, panels and industry talks and networking opportunities with industry professionals and decision-makers from around the world.
Three cash prizes will be offered to featured projects by the Red Sea Fund. The Project Market 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.
Jurors include Palestinian director, writer and producer Annemarie Jacir (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 Man Who Sold His Skin). Two more jury members will be announced soon.
Speaking about the event, Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of Red Sea International Film Festival, said: “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.”
Shivani Pandya Malhotra, Managing Director of Red Sea International Film Festival, added: “Our aim is to create an established, vibrant film ecosystem that both supports and attracts 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), and 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), and 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 workshops, conducted in partnership with the TorinoFilmLab.
The Red Sea Lodge projects are 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), 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, and Zeba by Abrar Abdulaziz.