Film submissions open for Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival

The inaugural Red Sea International Festival is expected to attract talent not only from the Kingdom and the Middle East but around the world. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 18 September 2019

Film submissions open for Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival

  • Filmmakers have until Nov. 15 to submit their entries
  • Prizes totaling $250,000 (SR938,000) will be up for grabs in the Yusr Awards in sections including directing, screenwriting, and acting

JEDDAH: Lights, camera, action! Film submissions  opened on Tuesday for the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival due to be staged in Saudi Arabia early next year.

The new event will offer big cash prizes to winners of the international competition running across a range of movie categories including feature-length, short and immersive works.

Filmmakers have until Nov. 15 to submit their entries for the festival which is expected to attract talent not only from the Kingdom and the Middle East but around the world.

Taking place in the ancient Jeddah Old Town in March 2020, the gathering will offer an international program celebrating innovative approaches to storytelling, judged by leading global cinema figures.

International films will be required to have Middle East premiere status, and Arab movies must be original works by emerging and established filmmakers, with special attention given to promoting films from the Global South (Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean).

Prizes totaling $250,000 (SR938,000) will be up for grabs in the Yusr Awards in sections including directing, screenwriting, and acting. The awards are designed to recognize daring, elevate new voices, and encourage film culture in Saudi and the region.

A special Golden Yusr award will be made for the best short production from the Arab world as part of a movie-shorts competition dedicated to Arab filmmakers.

A pioneering program exploring Saudi cinema titled “New Cinema/New Saudi” will introduce movie producers and artists from the Kingdom’s energetic new cinema wave.

The festival’s setting in the UNESCO-listed, ancient coral labyrinth of Jeddah Old Town will be transformed through immersive cinema experiences including augmented and virtual reality.

Entry details and conditions can be found at redseafilmfest.com/programme/film-submissions and are open via Eventival from Sept. 17 until Nov. 15, 2019.


Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

Updated 22 October 2019

Saudi minister hails ‘special relationship’ with Japan

  • “We share common values,” said Majid Al-Qasabi

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia has a “special relationship” with Japan, which is “reliable strategic partner and friend” of the Kingdom, the Saudi Minister for Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qasabi said on Monday.

The minister was speaking at the launch in Tokyo of the Japanese-language online edition of Arab News, in the latest stage of its global expansion. The event came on the eve of Tuesday’s ceremonial enthronement of Emperor Naruhito in the Japanese capital. “This is a great opportunity, a moment in history,” Al-Qasabi said.

The news website, published in Japanese and English, will focus on enabling the exchange of information between Japan and the Arab world in business, current affairs, and arts and culture. “It will be good to have news in Japanese so many Japanese can read about the Arab world,” Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono said at the launch.

Common values

“We share common values, we have a high respect for the elders and we think that the family is very important … to me we are friends and I think we need to work together.

“In order to do that we need to know what people in the Middle East are actually thinking, what is happening on a daily basis, and we haven’t got the source for that — but now Arab News is in Japan.

“This is a very good means to exchange information between the Middle East and Japan, so I am very much looking forward to it.”