Netflix to showcase second volume of Saudi short films

The aim of the collection is to spotlight talent from the country's entertainment industry

Old Phone Number is a short directed by Ali Saeed. Photo: Netflix
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Netflix will release its second volume of short films as part of its New Saudi Voices collection. It will feature 13 shorts by Saudi directors, spanning genres such as drama, fantasy and romance.

This year’s selections were picked from the Red Sea International Film Festival and include two winners from the 48-hour Filmmaking Challenge: When Red Blooms by Tala Alharbi and The Child in his Closet by Khaled Zeidan.

Other films that received support from the festival’s Red Sea Fund include VHS Tape Replaced by Maha Al Saati and Yallah, Yallah Beenah by Mohammed Hammad.

“The second volume is not just a collection of short films; it is a celebration of untold stories and a testament to the creative prowess of the emerging filmmakers,” said Nuha Eltayeb, director of content for Netflix Middle East, Africa and Turkey.

“As these captivating tales find their home on Netflix, they transcend borders and allow viewers to experience the beauty and dynamism of Saudi culture. We believe great stories can come from anywhere and be loved by anyone.”

Here’s a look at what's showing in the collection:

Lucky You’re Mine by Nora Abu Shusha

A woman named Salma experiences a manic episode and her husband Ahmad is determined to stand by her but the couple find themselves at a crossroads and unable to talk.

When Red Blooms by Tala Alharbi

The philosophical film ventures into the mind of a girl who sets unrealistically high expectations for herself, leading to self-destructive behaviours and a morbid fixation on perfection.

Yallah, Yallah Beenah by Mohammed Hammad

A film junkie, whose house is a shrine to cinema, revels in describing his equipment to a documentary film crew when they slip through a wormhole. In a parallel universe, a gang of preteens are sent on a psychedelic mission to save humanity and escape the spell laid on them by a coven of witches.

Old Phone Number by Ali Saeed

Hamed has a midlife crisis that prompts him to change the course of his life. He decides to go to Makkah to seek forgiveness. However, something happens during the road trip that prevents him from completely his long spiritual journey.

Requiem for Silence by Majed Z Samman

Majed is an ordinary man who lives a normal life but one day he wakes up to an unbearable noise that affects his everyday life.

Zabarjad by Hussain Almutlaq

Yehya returns to his village after dropping out of college. However, a visit from his father’s old friends turns his life upset down and makes him leave the village.

Forward by Fahad Alotaibi

An underground hacker gets a phone call from the future that warns him something serious is coming.

The Child in His Closet by Khaled Zeidan

The film explores the nature and importance of childhood memories, focusing on how people interpret their earliest memories and how they make us feel.

Last Chance to Fall by Faisal Buhaishi

An old man gets the chance to reunite with his first love after 50 years.

A Swing by Raneem Almohandes

Leen, a 10-year-old girl, is used to hearing about a magical swing that exists somewhere in the world through stories her military father tells her. One day, she decides to go on a trek through the woods to find it.

Othman by Khaled Zeidan

Othman is a security guard at a government hospital's car park and lives with his cousin Fahd. However, events take a turn, shaking him out of his customary complacency and forcing him to face reality.

Tea Leaf by Mohammed Baqer

A man is enjoying his tea and recalls memories from his marriage to his ex-wife including old feelings of their love, struggles and failures.

VHS Tape Replace by Maha Al Saati

Set in 1987, a young Saudi man tries to impress a girl by mimicking the music video of Crown, a popular singer from that time.

The Jakar by Abdulaziz Saleh

The four-minute documentary explores the story of an annual boat race that originated in the 1800s and has been held in Jeddah for more than 100 years.

New Saudi Voices 2 films will be available on Netflix on Friday

Updated: October 03, 2023, 12:39 PM