Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia partners with Venice initiative

The programme will help projects from across the region during their post-production phase

The Red Sea International Film Festival is backing two films, 'Inshallah A Boy' and 'The Cemetery of Cinema'. Photo: Red Sea International Film Festival
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The Red Sea International Film Festival is collaborating with Final Cut, a programme by Venice Production Bridge that supports projects from Middle Eastern and African countries.

The initiative, now in its 10th year at the Venice Film Festival, will help films in post-production from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria as well as African countries. The Red Sea International Film Festival, which ran for the first time in Saudi Arabia last year, is supporting two works in Final Cut — Inshallah A Boy, a dark comedy by Amjad Al Rasheed and The Cemetery of Cinema, a documentary by Thierno Souleymane Diallo.

The two features, along with six other projects taking part in the initiative, will be presented to industry experts and distributors to bolster post-production. Red Sea International Film Festival will also be awarding the winning film with a monetary prize.

“The Venice Production Bridge is honoured to have the additional support of the Red Sea International Film Festival for our Final Cut in Venice workshop and, more generally, to have such a privileged relationship,” said Pascal Diot, head of Venice Production Bridge.

“The RSIFF has in a very few years become an unavoidable player in the Mena region and one of the key investors and supporters of Arab cinema and new immersive content.”

As part of the partnership, five films funded by the Red Sea International Film Festival will also be present at the 79th Venice Film Festival, which will be running from Wednesday to September 10.

The films include Nezouh by Syrian director Soudade Kaadan; Hanging Gardens by Iraqi filmmaker Ahmed Yassin Al-Daradj; Dirty, Difficult, Dangerous by Lebanese-French director Wissam Charaf; Queens by Moroccan filmmaker Yasmine Benkiran; and The Last Queen by French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri.

“We are thrilled to form a partnership with the Venice Film Production Bridge’s Final Cut in Venice programme to strengthen our commitment to filmmakers from the region and bring more projects to fruition, so they can make the selection at the world’s most prestigious festivals,” said Mohammed Al-Turki, chief executive officer of the Red Sea International Film Festival.

“The calibre of films presented from the region this year is remarkable and they are guaranteed to make their mark on global audiences.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see photos of the Venice International Film Festival 2021 opening ceremony

Updated: August 30, 2022, 9:05 AM