Spanning across 10 days, Saudi Arabia‘s very first film festival, the Red Sea International Film Festival, opens today. Taking place in Jeddah Old Town, the event will celebrate both, Arab and international cinema, focusing on all genres from contemporary cinema to age-old classics, and short films. This time around, the annual fest will feature more than 115 films from over 65 countries, covering more than 30 languages. Out of the lot, 27 films come from Saudi filmmakers. According to reports, the festival will also be honoring Haifaa al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia’s first female director, and the woman behind award-winning drama film Wadjda (2012).
As movie enthusiasts wait with bated breath for the film festival to kick off, we take a quick look at who you can expect to spot walking the red carpet in Jeddah in the coming days, and the movies that are going to have everyone talking very soon.
Which celebrities will attend the Red Sea International Film Festival?
The 2021 edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival is likely to have an exciting line-up of celebrity guests. According to reports, the event will be attended by a long list of both, actors and directors. One can expect to spot actors Kerry Fox and Catherine Deneuve on the red carpet, along with filmmakers Gaspar Noe, Giuseppe Tornatore, and Tunisian actress Hend Sabri, who is on the festival’s competition jury. Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh will also be attending on December 15 for the world premiere of their film ’83, along with Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev, on whom the movie’s storyline is based.
Which movies should you look out for during the festival?
The Red Sea International Film Festival boasts and exciting collection of must-watch projects, which will be screened across 11 sections including International Competition, Arab Spectacular, International Spectacular, and New Saudi/New Cinema. Among the many films creating a buzz right now are Jordan’s The Alleys and Palestinian director Hany Abu Assad’s Huda’s Salon. Also on the list are Algerian director Salah Issaad’s Soula, which tells the story of an unmarried woman and her baby, Tunisian director Nejib Belkadhi’s Communion, Egyptian director Samir Nasr’s Sharaf. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter will also be screened, along with Becoming, a film made in collaboration by five Saudi directors, which spotlights contemporary life in the kingdom.
For more updates on the Red Sea International Film Festival, follow Vogue Arabia’s Instagram account over the next few days.