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This is When Saudi Arabia’s First Film Festival Will Begin

Dates of the inaugural edition of Saudi Arabia‘s Red Sea Film Festival have recently been announced. In the port city of Jeddah, the festival will take place from March 12-21, 2020 helmed by Festival Director and CEO, Barakah Meets Barakah and Amra and the Second Marriage director Mahmoud Sabbagh.

Saudi Arabia’s first non-profit cultural organization, the Red Sea Film Foundation, chaired by the Saudi minister of culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Sau, will organize the event as a part of their aim to support the growth of the film-making industry in the country. Besides focusing on the Middle Eastern talent and cinema, the festival will also provide a platform for the lesser-known international trends in storytelling.

Running alongside the festival will be a new industry body called The Red Sea Lodge: The New Arab Wave, dedicated to developing films by local and regional directors all year round. New details released about the Red Sea Film Lodge reveal that the script & feature lab will run in collaboration with the TorinoFilmLab and will open for submissions from July 1, 2019. The lab will select 12 Arab projects for a five-month development program, of which at least 6 would be from Saudi filmmakers. It will also award two USD500,000 production and co-production prizes to the best projects.

The role of the artistic director will be taken upon by former Sundance Film Festival documentary programmer, Hussain Currimbhoy, Shivani Pandya Malhotra who managed the Dubai International Film Festival for 15 years will act as the managing director.

To apply to the Red Sea Film Lodge, visit

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