This programme features a collection of short films that delve into rarely-told narratives.
The Red Sea International Film Festival (RedSeaIFF) has unveiled its selection of Arab Shorts in Competition, marking the third edition of this programme. These curated short films offer a glimpse into untold narratives, providing insights into the lives of individuals and locales within the Arab World. From November 30 to December 9, 2023, the city of Jeddah, situated on the eastern shores of the Red Sea, will be transformed into a cinematic hub, hosting this celebration of storytelling through film.
With a lineup of 11 Arab short films, the festival pays homage to the diversity of Arab storytelling, inviting viewers on a cinematic journey.
Speaking about the selection, Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of Red Sea Film Foundation, said: “The Red Sea International Film Festival is committed to promoting Arab cinema and film culture in the region and beyond. With ‘Arab Shorts’, we continue to provide a platform for Arab filmmakers to showcase their work, connecting them with industry experts worldwide.”
Antoine Khalife, Director of Arab Programmes & Film Classics at the Red Sea International Film Festival, added: “‘Arab Shorts’ showcases the festival’s dedication to supporting and empowering Arab filmmakers in sharing untold stories that explore various aspects of life. Khalife commended the young Arab filmmakers for their remarkable films, which exhibit exceptional strength and maturity.
Smokey Eyes directed by Egyptian Adweek’s director, Ali Ali, featuring rapper Marwan Moussa is set in Cairo during its most chaotic period. It follows a girl whose night out turns into a nightmare of fears and challenges. Ali Ali has won several awards throughout his professional life, ranking him amongst the most awarded directors in the world.
Manity Directed and written by Hussen Ibraheem, tells the story of 11-year-old Firas as he embarks on a bird-hunting adventure in the Lebanese countryside with his father Tayseer and friend Rayan. What begins as a normal hunting trip evolves into an unforgettable journey, transforming an ordinary sunny day into an adventure of a lifetime.
The Key, a film directed by Rakan Mayasi, revolves around young Edina who is persistently disturbed by a mysterious sound disrupting her sleep at night. As this unsettling noise increasingly invades their lives, it remains to be seen how her parents will respond.
Somewhere in Between, by Dahlia Nemlich, tells the story of a couple facing imminent separation. Making Elias and Christiane delve into their shared memories, they prepare for a final farewell that will test the strength of their bond.
Dina Naser’s Amplified features the story of Hind, a charismatic young Karate fighter with a hearing impairment. After a traumatic incident at the Karate centre, Hind’s world spirals into chaos, challenging her resilience and spirit.
The Woodland, directed by Firas Taybeh, traces the journey of two brothers who set out to bury their deceased father. Along the way, unresolved issues surface, forcing them to confront the true meaning of sibling bonds, family ties, land, and personal pride.
Directed by Jad Chahine, The Call of the Brook presents a young boy’s adventure to a cursed brook, where he witnesses a life-altering event that ultimately determines his destiny.
Farewell, directed by Ibrahem Melhem, features Salma’s risky journey back to her homeland, crossing borders illegally to deliver her brother’s body to their family home. Along the way, she encounters challenges that force her to make a life-changing decision.
Saeed, directed by Rami Alzayer, explores the life of Saeed who decides to run away upon learning that his sister Salma must return to their mother’s house. His journey is a search for a more promising refuge.
In Deaf, director Roy Arida presents Hassan’s solemn task of creating his deceased wife’s final resting place with the assistance of his children, Tamara and Rami. They are determined to fulfil their mother’s last wish: to be buried in her childhood village, which has been abandoned for over two decades.
Me & Aydarous, directed by Sara Balghonaim, portrays a courageous young Saudi Arabian woman who sneaks out for a date, leading to an argument with her chauffeur – who also happens to be her chaperone. The film explores the complexities of personal freedom and societal norms in a conservative society.