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16 Films By Saudi Filmmakers Will Be Screened At The Red Sea International Film Festival

Following the success of the Red Sea International Film Festival in 2021, the event is returning for its second edition with a slew of new films, and in the run up to the festival, organizers have unveiled the lineup for the “New Cinema/ New Saudi” section of the festival.

Running from 1st- 10th December 2022, industry leaders from across the globe are preparing to attend and judge the films created by local Saudi talent.

Program Manager at RSIFF Mohyee Qari said in a statement, “I am thrilled to announce the second edition’s lineup from Saudi filmmakers is once again a showcase of the country's talent who are taking creative risks and forging new pathways.” He continued, “The film industry continues to accelerate at a considerable pace and the filmmakers in this section truly represent the future of filmmaking in the Kingdom.”

Sixteen films by Saudi filmmakers will be screened in the new section, including films that depict witch craft and explorations of the topic of romantic yet broken relationships.

The winner of the RSIFF’s 48-hour Filmmaking Challenge, Tala Alharbi, is one of the filmmakers in the 16 film lineup with her film “When Red Blooms.” The list of films also includes a documentary about the Gulf War as this year marks its 30th anniversary, titled, “Memories from the North,” directed by Abdulmohsen Almutairi.

Aside from the “New Cinema/New Saudi” lineup, the Red Sea International Film Festival will see over 120 films from all over the world being screened over the course of ten days. The wider lineup at the festival is yet to be revealed. The “New Cinema/ New Saudi” section lineup includes the following films:

1 of 16

Zabarjad, by Hussain Al Mutlaq is a film about Yehya, who comes home to his village after dropping out of college, but a twist in fate after a visit from an old family friend sends his life into turmoil, forcing him to leave his village.

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A film by Ali Basaeed, “Casting” is about a man’s exasperation caused by the interference of external people in his personal life.

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Last Chance to Fall in Love

Directed by Faisal Buhishi, this is a moving story that follows an old man who reunites with his first love after 50 years of not seeing each other.

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Old Phone Number

Filmmaker Ali Saeed’s film is about a guy called Hamed (played by Yacoub Al-Farhan) going through a mid-life crisis making him feel to atone his sins by travelling to Makkah to seek forgiveness and perhaps steer his life in a new direction. During his road trip, something prevents him from completing the spiritual journey he set out on and makes him return to meet someone who lives in his past.

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Requiem for Silence

Directed by filmmaker, producer and actor Majed Z. Samman, this film looks at his struggles with an unwanted malicious entity that comes into his life, and how he comes to accept their existence in his life.

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Forgive Me

Director Jubril Mohammad’s film is a story about a bride who is left jilted by her groom on her wedding night. Gathering all the wedding guests to help her, she manages to hunt him down to seek the answers she deserves.

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Mohammed Hammad’s film takes the audience down a trippy rabbit hole where a gang of pre-teen kids are sent on a psychedelic mission to save humanity all while under the influence of a spell put forth by a coven of witches.

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Lucky You're Mine

A story about a modern Saudi marriage directed by Noura Abushosha is about newlyweds, Ahmad and Salma. Just days after their wedding, Salma has a bipolar manic episode following the sudden death of her mother. Ahmad is determined to support and stand by Salma, but the couple finds themselves unable to communicate.

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Fahad Alotaibi’s film, Forward, follows an underground hacker who receives a phone call from the future that warns him that “something serious is coming.”

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Tea Leaf

Mohammed Baqer’s film is about the feelings of regret and pain in separation. A man drinks his tea and painfully recollects situations with his ex-wife and the struggles they faced as a married couple.

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Khaled Zidan’s Othman is a story about a security guard at a government hospital's parking lot who lives with his cousin Fahd. His quiet life is soon turned upside down and forces Othman to face reality.

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When Red Blooms

Directed by Tala Alharbi, winner of the Red Sea International Film Festival’s 48-hour Filmmaking Challenge depicts the mind of a young girl who sets whimsically high expectations for herself, leading to a string of “self-destructiveness and morbid perfectionism.”

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Salma Murad’s film tells the story of Osama, a young man in a battling between his emotions and memory as he tries to find much needed answers.

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The Child in his Closet

Directed by Khaled Zidan, The Child In His Closet explores the theme of childhood memories, how we remember our earliest experiences, and how the nostalgia they bring with them, as well as the emotions.

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A Swing

Raneem Almohandis and Dana Almohandis’s film tells the story of Leen, a ten-year-old girl, who journeys into the woods to look for a mysterious magical swing that her military father used to tell her stories about and promised to show her.

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Memories from the North

Directed by Abdulmohsen Almutairi, this documentary is about the Gulf War and follows a crew of filmmakers who witnessed the events as children as they set out on a journey across the kingdom to record some of the true stories of people who lived through it.

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