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The Red Sea International Film Festival Honored the Women Shaping Arab Cinema in Venice

Haifaa Al Mansour, Dorra Zarrouk, Sumaya Rida, Kaouther Ben Hania. Photo: RSIF

The Red Sea International Film Festival and Vanity Fair teamed up to celebrate and pay tribute to Arab cinema’s most talented women, both behind and in front of the lens.

Hosted during the 79th Venice International Film Festival at the Palazzo Rocca Contarini Corfù, RSIFF and the Vanity Fair together spotlighted three exceptional Saudi talents including the renowned director Haifaa Al Mansour, award-winning filmmaker Ahd Kamel and actor Sumaya Rida. They were joined by Oscar-nominee Kaouther Ben Hania along with celebrated actors Hend Sabry and Dorra Zarrouk.

“I am incredibly honored to return to Venice Film Festival for the Women in Cinema Gala. I am very thankful to Vanity Fair for including me in this incredible event with all of these extraordinary women,” Al Mansour said on receiving the honor. “Venice has been my ‘home’ festival since the launch of my first film Wadjda here 10 years ago. I was overjoyed to return to Venice for my follow-up Saudi film, The Perfect Candidate, and hope to return with another Saudi film very soon!”

The event was also attended by other famed personalities including Nadine Labaki, Isabelle Huppert, Carla Bruni, Sabrina Carpenter, and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu among others. They were hosted by Shivani Pandya Malthora, Managing Director; Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea International Film Festival and Simone Marchetti; Vanity Fair European Editorial Director and Editor in Chief.

“The Red Sea International Film Festival has an important role to play in ensuring women’s stories are showcased to as many people as possible and providing a platform to ensure their voices are heard,” stated Malhotra. Al Turki said, “I’m thrilled to see the rise of women filmmakers making a mark on the world of cinema, and with our friends at Vanity Fair we honor these brilliant women as they continue to take the industry by storm, breaking stereotypes and bringing fresh narratives to the screen. We’re grateful for their amazing contributions and cannot wait to see what they do next.”

The second edition of the RSIFF will run in Jeddah from December 1-10, 2022.

Nadine Labaki. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

Dorra Zarrouk. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

Mohammed Al Turki, Haifaa Al Mansour, Dorra Zarrouk, Sumaya Rida, Kaouther Ben Hania, Simone Marchetti. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

Carla Bruni. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

Isabelle Huppert. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

Kaouther Ben Hania. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

Sumaya Rida. Photo: Courtesy of RSIFF

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