The 14 fiction features and documentaries hail from Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
Red Sea International Film Festival has announced 14 Arabic feature films selected to receive production and post-production funding from its Red Sea Fund.
The fund aims to support projects that require immediate and crucial financing to help bring films to life and shine a light on important narratives from exciting and emerging filmmakers from the Arab world.
This round of funding is an accelerator to the official Red Sea Fund initiative which launched in June and received an encouraging 650 projects which are currently being reviewed and will be announced in December.
The fiction features and documentaries hail from Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Qatar, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
Two of the films have already found their way onto the international festival circuit. The feature debut from Short Palme d’Or winner and Oscar-nominated director Ely Dagher, The Sea Ahead was presented as part of Cannes Director’s Fortnight. Jordanian writer and director Darin J Sallam will have a world premiere for her debut feature Farha at the Toronto International Film Festival this month.
Among the 14 films selected are three from Saudi directors: Route 10 by Omar Naim, Basma by Fatima Al-Banawi and Quareer, directed by Ragheed Al Nahdi, Norah Almowald, Ruba Khafagy, Fatma Alhazmi, Noor Alameer. Other beneficiaries of the fund are Communion, directed by Nejib Belkadhi, Take Me To The Cinema, directed by Albaqer Jaafar, Soula, directed by Salah Issaad, Life Suits Me Well, directed by Al Hadi Ulad-Mohand, Recovery, directed by Rashid Masharawi, I Am Arze, directed by Mira Shaib, Inshallah A Boy, directed by Amjad Alrasheed, The Arabic Interpreter, directed by Ali Kareem and The Wind Also Sings, directed by Hadi Ghandour.
Speaking about the selected films, Edouard Waintrop, Artistic Director of Red Sea International Film Festival, said: “Arab cinema continues to captivate audiences around the world with unique and authentic stories that showcase the extraordinary creative talent who bring to life the region’s rich cultural tapestry. Supporting films out of the traditional cycle gives us the means to develop and nurture Arab talent throughout the year and fund even more compelling projects. It’s wonderful to see such incredible Arab films in the selection at Venice this year, and with initiatives such as ours which give filmmakers that all-important support, I have no doubt we will witness a surge of films claiming the international spotlight in the coming years.”