The Red Sea International Film Festival is committed to supporting new work and to building strong, vibrant Saudi and Arab film scenes – connected to the world and pioneering new approaches. Initiatives include year-round masterclasses, major production grants, and the annual Red Sea Souk industry program.



A comprehensive industry program running alongside the public Festival, the Red Sea Souk is the opportunity to connect with the Arab film scene. Taking place as part of the Kingdom's first-ever international film festival, the Souk provides unbeatable access to the vibrant new Saudi scene, as well as the best of the Arab market. On March 17 and 18, the Talent Days workshops will take place, providing Saudi national producers, directors, and scriptwriters the opportunity to take their projects to the next level.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

With world-class exhibitor areas for distributors, sales agents, and producers, the Souk prioritizes relationship-building between filmmakers and industry, between the Arab region and the world. The Souk presents the best projects and films-in-progress, granting industry guests a look at the next great Arab films and introductions to fresh talent. This dynamic market setting provides exciting new business opportunities, including pitching sessions, one-on-one meetings, screenings, industry talks, and industry networking events.


The exhibition area offers space for dedicated booths, as well as opportunities to host private meetings and advertise new films or film-related projects.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

This is the place to showcase your business, explore exciting opportunities, and forge new connections.


Dedicated to new trends in the film industry, as well as providing an introduction to new talent from the Arab world, the Red Sea Souk's industry talks will take place during the festival. The diverse sessions will bring together industry leaders from the Arab region and around the world to share their experiences and business models and to discuss new trends. The program will also give a voice to key players in the Saudi and Arab cinema scenes.

comprehensive industry program


Discover and connect with the most exciting Arab filmmakers as more than 20 teams from across the region present their latest projects, exclusively at the Red Sea Souk project market. Meet the filmmakers and projects defining the exciting new wave of Arab cinema – following pitches, there’ll be three days to connect with the directors and producers through one-on-one sessions.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

The projects include twelve developed through the Red Sea Lodge, an intensive program delivered in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab. The twelve teams of filmmakers, including six Saudi teams alongside others from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, have been workshopping their projects through residential programs in Jeddah Old Town since October 2019.

All projects presented will be eligible for production awards offered by the Festival and its sponsors. As a sales agent, distributor, producer, or festival programmer seeking the next-big-thing from the Arab world, this is your opportunity to connect with the next generation of leading filmmakers, ahead of the curve.

comprehensive industry program

01 Barzakh (Germany)

  • Directed by: Laila Abbas (Palestine)
  • Written by:Laila Abbas (Palestine)
  • Produced by: Roshanak Nedjad
  • Co-produced by: Hanna Attallah (Palestine), Gary Cranner (Norway)


  • Directed by: Waleed Al-Shehhi (AE) ,Abdullah Hasan Ahmed (AE), Masoud Amralla Al Ali (AE)
  • Written by: Masoud Amralla Al Ali (AE), Ibrahim Al Mulla, Mohammed Hasan Ahmed, Ahmed Salmin (Screenwriter)
  • Produced by: Abdullah Hasan Ahmed
  • Co-produced by: Waleed Al-Shehhi (UAE)

03 Solo-Man

  • Directed by: Ammar Al-Sabban (SA)، Yaser Hammad (SA)
  • Written by: Ammar Al-Sabban (SA)، Yaser Hammad (SA)
  • Produced by: Ammar Al-Sabban
  • Co-produced by: Yaser Hammad (Saudi Arabia)

04 The Meursault Investigation(Algeria)

  • Directed by: Malek Bensmail (DZ)
  • Written by: Malek Bensmail (DZ), Jacques Fieschi
  • Produced by: Hachemi Zertal
  • Co-produced by: Denis Freyd (France)


  • Directed by: Anwar Boulifa (GB)
  • Written by: Anwar Boulifa (GB)
  • Produced by: Bertrand Faivre

06 The Sweet of Heaven (Saudi Arabia)

  • Directed by: Aymen Khoja (SA)
  • Written by: Mahmood Hamdan
  • Produced by: Fadi Ismail

07 Under Construction (Lebanon)

  • Directed by: Nadim Tabet (LB)
  • Written by: Nadim Tabet (LB), Antoine Waked
  • Produced by:Georges Schoucair

08 From A Crooked Rib


comprehensive industry program

Hear from the best through masterclasses, including talks and question and answer sessions. Open to anyone interested in the film and entertainment industry, from cinema lovers and students of film to aspiring and professional directors, actors or artists, the series hosts the industry’s leaders, from across the Arab world and internationally.


The first in a series, award-winning filmmaker Marwan Hamed delivered a masterclass at the Saudi Art Council in November 2019. The session explored the art of storytelling, raising finance, and creating a successful film with a distinctive Arab identity – all through the lens of his rich experience. Marwan Hamed is an Egyptian director and producer with a career spanning more than 20 years. His directorial debut, the short film LILLY (2001), based on a short story by the novelist Youssef Idris, earned him wide critical acclaim. In 2006, Marwan directed his first feature film THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING (OMARET YACOUBIAN) (2006), which garnered many awards, followed by THE BLUE ELEPHANT (2014) and its 2019 sequel, considered one of the highest-grossing films in the history of Egyptian cinema.

comprehensive industry program


Red Sea International Film Festival partners with Cairo International Film Festival to support Arab filmmakers Red Sea Film Festival Award in collaboration with the Cairo Film Connection: the winner is UNDER CONSTRUCTION directed by Nadim Tabet and produced by Georges Schoucair. Both the director and the producer will be invited to participate to the Red Sea Souk's project market to take place in Jeddah next March 13-16, 2020 The partnership between the Red Sea International Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival is an acknowledgement of their shared aim in supporting a new and exciting generation of Arab filmmakers.



An insider’s look at the next blockbusters from the Arab world, with a special focus on five films-in-progress from high profile and emerging filmmakers. Jeddah Focus will present the first cut of these new works, with 20-minute preview screenings exclusively for sales agents, distributors, and Festival programmers.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

The Festival believe in these projects, backing them through The Beit Al Montage Fund. This new post-production grant scheme totals US$100,000, with each of the selected films-in-progress receiving a completion grant of US$20,000. Dedicated to supporting the best in Arab cinema, Jeddah Focus and The Beit Al Montage Fund will see these films go on from Jeddah to complete post-production, travel the world of festivals, and conquer international audiences.


The Short Film Market gathers the industry around new talents, with the MBC AL Amal Short Film Competition of short film projects, and a digital library of selected works. A dedicated venue within the Red Sea Souk, the Short Film Market brings together the short film community in one place – it’s an unbeatable opportunity for industry guests to encounter the key players shaping this intriguing scene.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

Experience a showcase of Saudi shorts, with selections by Festival partners, including the 24 films produced over the last two years by La Fémis (École nationale supérieure des métiers de l'image et du son, the acclaimed film school based in Paris). Alongside curated programs, a digital library will be freely available to watch Saudi shorts at guest's leisure.

The MBC AL Amal short film competition will showcase ideas from the next-generation of Arab auteurs in a carefully curated selection of projects. Chosen through an open call, led by MBC, the directors and producers will take part in training to hone their presentation skills, before taking their ideas to industry guests with a competitive pitching session. MBC will award three projects full development and production grants.

comprehensive industry program


On March 17 and 18, the Talent Days, powered by MBC Hope, offers two days of workshops to Saudi national directors, scriptwriters, and producers. Talent Days is the opportunity to develop skills and insight to take projects to the next level, touching on everything from production to financing.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

Led by industry experts invited to share their experience and give updates in film production, financing, and distribution. In various sessions across two days, they will share their industry expertise and inspiration to help Saudi filmmakers expand their knowledge and skills for a competitive edge in the international market. Pre-registration is mandatory and open to producers, directors, or scriptwriters only. Capacity is strictly limited to 150 participants, and access to the Talent Days is on a first-come-first-served basis


In collaboration with the TorinoFilmLab, the Lodge hand-picked twelve emerging filmmakers, pairing each with an experienced mentor to support and enhance their work throughout the creative process. Designed for projects at any stage of development, the comprehensive program is for directors and producers, with scriptwriters if on board, to hone and further all aspects of their vision. Every stage of filmmaking will be explored, from script consultations to work with experts in the fields of directing, cinematography and sound, through to post-production as well as a commercial focus on financing, sales, and audience engagement. Structured around diverse, stimulating exchanges with colleagues and mentors, the program is designed to enrich projects through multiple approaches and perspectives.

comprehensive industry program
comprehensive industry program

The training and development process will culminate during the Red Sea International Film Festival, with all participants publicly presenting to an audience of international producers, sales agents, and other film industry professionals. Further insight will be granted through one-to-one meetings with decision makers, while major visibility will be gained thanks to the Red Sea Lodge Catalog and network. All final projects will be considered for a $500,000 production prize, with the two winning projects enjoying its world premiere at the Red Sea International Film Festival 2021.


An international committee chose the winning teams out of 120 submissions, drawn from 16 countries. Female directors helm 5 out of the 12 successful projects, and 5 of the projects have female producers attached. The selection includes six Saudi teams alongside projects from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, demonstrating a commitment to furthering new work from the Arab world.

comprehensive industry program

The committee comprised of industry veterans, including: Mahmoud Sabbagh (Festival Director, Red Sea International Film Festival), Julie Bergeron (Head of the Red Sea Souk), Antoine Khalife (Director of the Arab Program, Red Sea International Film Festival), Jane Williams (Head of Industry, TorinoFilmLab), and Savina Neirotti (Executive Director, TorinoFilmLab). They were supported by a team of readers, including Fahad Alestaa (Saudi Scriptwriter and Film Critic), and leading media figure Layaly Badr (Arab Radio & TV Network). Saudi producer Jumana Zahid leads the Festival’s development program, as Manager of the Red Sea Lodge. Through unique storytelling styles, the Saudi projects deal with significant socio-political and economic underpinnings, including the discovery of oil and the siege of the Holy Mosque in 1979. The projects also explore the position of women and modern-day challenges to mental health, such as loneliness and isolation.


01 Basma

Directed by

Ali Alsumayin

Written by

Fatima Albanawi

Produced by

Abdulrahman Khawj

A daughter moves in to save her father from his delusions not knowing that she’s the one who needs saving.

02 Practicing Polygamy

Directed and written by

Malak Qouta

Produced by

Bentley Brown

It is said: “Behind every great man is a woman.” But what happens if there are several women?

03 Four Acts of Disruption

Directed and written by

Hussam Alhulwah

Produced by

Mohammed Alhamoud

In his constant struggle to survive, Ayed gets caught up in the search for oil forcing him to leave his Bedouin family behind.

04 When the Star Goes Down

Directed and written by

Mohammed Salman

Produced by

Mousa Althonian

In return for her tears, a Saudi woman goes back in time and space with an angel to change her fate.

05 Sharshaf

Directed by

Hend Alfahhad

Written by

Hana Alomair

Produced by

Talal Ayeel

As Haila's eyes are open to cinema and the world around her, after her marriage, the society closes down

06 Hajj to Disney

Directed by

Maha Al-saati

Written by

Aziz Twaijri

Produced by

Hussain Slam

To win back her lover, a hopelessly romantic Saudi woman flies from Makkah to Florida, only to discover he is not her prince.

01 Scheherazade Goes Silent

Directed and written by

Amira Diab

Produced by

Raya Aburub

On the 1000 night Shams is violated. Her dream of playing Sheherazad becomes a nightmare she must wake up from before it breaks her

02 Inchalla A boy

Directed and written by

Amjad Alrasheed

Produced by

Aseel Abu Ayyash & Rula Nasser

Grieving the sudden death of her husband, Nawal must confront the realities of inheritance laws which rule that, without a son, she stands to lose the home she bought for herself and her daughter.

03 The Arabic Interpreter

Directed and written by

Ali Kareem

Produced by

Khalid Abu Sharif

Hassan feels that his paradise in Berlin is threatened when a terrorist from his past reappears.

04 The Journey of Bullets and Bread

Directed and written by

Mohammad Hammad

Produced by

Mohammed Hefzi & Kholoud Saad

Which is more harmful? Bandits cutting us off road to steal our money or those who live among us cutting off the road our humanity

05 The Basement Notes

Directed and written by

Hadi Ghandour

Produced by

Habib Attia & Molka Mheni

A talented musician’s selfishness endangers everyone he holds dear in a town where music is banned

06 I am Arzé

Directed by

Mira Shaib

Written by

Louay Khraish

Produced by

Zeina Badran

To find her stolen scooter, a woman must outsmart Beirut’s religious diversity.