Red Sea Film Festival's 48-hour challenge returns

Fast-paced initiative, which is open for submissions, tasks writers and directors to create against the clock

Successful applicants will join a two-day workshop before going out to write, film and edit a movie in just 48 hours. Photo: Red Sea International Film Festival
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The Red Sea International Film Festival has reprised its 48Hr Film Challenge, inviting emerging filmmakers in Saudi Arabia to create short movies at breakneck speed.

The initiative pits budding creators against each other, tasking them to write, film and edit a short film in, as the name suggests, 48 hours. The movies will be screened at a special ceremony in September, where two projects will win trophies and be granted residency at a French film event next year.

It is a collaboration between the Alliance Francaise and the French Consulate in Jeddah. The initiative is inviting teams to submit their applications before June 23. Teams should have two to five applicants, aged between 18 and 25. They should also be led by a scriptwriter or director who is a Saudi national.

Selected teams will take part in a two-day mentorship programme in July. The workshop will delve into different aspects of writing, filming and producing a short film, preparing participants for the challenge.

The 48Hr Film Challenge will run on July 26 and 27. The teams will work around a set theme and be prompted to include a scenic or prop component, which will be revealed before the competition. The films can be fiction, non-fiction, narrative or documentary and run between three and six minutes.

Participants must secure their own financial and technical resources to create the film and can use any type of camera for filming, including smartphones. Those who choose to shoot in Arabic must have them subtitled in French or English the day after the challenge.

Those interested in applying can do so through the Red Sea International Film Festival website. The 1000-word proposals should delineate why teams want to take part in the challenge and what they aim to bring to the competition. They should also delve into why team leaders want to compete for the residency in France.

More information about the 48Hr Film Challenge is available at

Updated: June 10, 2024, 8:30 AM