Red Sea International Film Festival cancels Women in Cinema gala due to actors' strike

Festival chief executive Mohammed Al Turki said the event was cancelled in solidarity with striking actors

Mohammed Al Turki, centre, at the Women in Cinema dinner during last year's Red Sea International Film Festival. Photo: The Red Sea International Film Festival
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This year's Women in Cinema gala event, organised by the Red Sea International Film Festival, has been cancelled due to the ongoing actors' and writers' strike in Hollywood.

Saudi film producer and RSIFF chief executive Mohammed Al Turki posted the news of the cancellation on Instagram on Monday.

“Due to the actors' strike and in solidarity with the actors, we are unable to proceed with the Women in Cinema event scheduled to be held on the 1st of September in Venice, Italy,” he wrote.

“We remain committed to empowering female talents in front of and behind the camera in our mission to support the industry.”

Women in Cinema is a gala event that celebrates female talent working in film. Held in partnership with Vanity Fair and luxury jewellery brand Chopard, RSIFF has previously hosted the event at the Cannes Film Festival and for the first time last year in Saudi Arabia.

Al Turki posted the news to his 1.9 million followers alongside a carousel of photos from previous galas featuring Lebanese actress Razane Jammal, Saudi filmmaker Fatima Al Banawi, Indian actress Sara Ali Khan, Egyptian actress Tara Emad, Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki and American stars Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore and Sharon Stone.

“As we work towards future events, we genuinely hope to have the opportunity to welcome guests and celebrate women's stories in the near future under better circumstances,” Al Turki added.

The ongoing actors' and writers' strikes in Hollywood have been organised by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Writers Guild of America. Both industries are demanding higher pay, fairer contracts and other provisions. The strikes have affected many television and film productions.

Launched in 2019, RSIFF showcases films from around the globe and provides a number of workshops, masterclasses and panel discussions for local talent. This year's event will be held from November 30 to December 9 in Jeddah.

Updated: August 08, 2023, 7:04 AM