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Red Sea International Film Festival Unveils the Theme and Lineup for its Third Edition

Maria Bahrawi on the set of ‘Norah,’ in AlUla.

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) has revealed its theme for its third edition: ‘Your Stories, Your Festival’. Taking place from November 30 to December 9 in Jeddah, the festival has also unveiled its lineup, highlighting films made in the MENA region, including 36 feature-length and short films from the Kingdom, and documentaries and titles produced by the Red Sea Film Foundation.

According to the RSIFF organizers, the 10-day event aims to offer “a unique and powerful platform for celebrating film, connecting cultures and expanding horizons while welcoming stories from all walks of life.” Alongside locally-made films, the selection also features internationally recognized talents across various categories.


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The Red Sea: Competition section will screen 17 films from Asia, Africa, and the Arab world, with a jury led by acclaimed filmmaker Baz Lurhmann. Entries include Tawfik Alzaidi’s Norah, the first production to be shot entirely in the AlUla; Afef Ben Mahmoud and Khalil Benkirane’s debut feature Backstage; Farah Nabulsi’s The Teacher, which is filmed in the West Bank and stars Imogen Poots; Karim Bensalah’s Six Feet Over; Amjad Al Rasheed’s Cannes Critics’ Week film Inshallah A Boy, Pakistan’s Oscar entry In Flames by Zarra Kahn; and Iranian filmmaker Parviz Shahbazi’s Roxana.


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The Arab Spectacular section will showcase 11 works from a wide range of genres. On the lineup are Tunisia’s Oscar submission Four Daughters by Kaouther Ben Hania; Tamer Ruggli’s debut film Back to Alexandria starring Nadine Labaki and Fanny Ardant; Yasir Alyasiri’s HWJN; Meshal Al Jaser’s NAGA; and The Godus Brothers’ Fever Dream

In a statement, Mohammed Al-Turki, CEO of Red Sea Film Foundation and Shivani Pandya Malhotra, managing director of Red Sea International Film Festival, said: “Our theme this year of ‘Your Stories, Your Festival’, is borne out by the incredible selection of films from the region – which spans both masters as well as debut filmmakers who are testament to the wealth of talent on offer from this part of the world, which is so important to showcase in all its diversity. We feel it is particularly timely to use the medium of film to look at what connects us, and to give a platform to the voices and experiences of people in our region and beyond to foster insight, understanding and compassion. We look forward to once again welcoming the global film community in Jeddah for our third edition.”

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