Hours after Jeddah concluded the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the city kickstarted the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival in the historic downtown area known as Al-Balad. The event was shining with international, Arab, and Saudi film stars, filmmakers, directors, and producers.
The festival, which is set for ten days, presents a solid and diverse program rich in cinematic ideas, methods, and languages, with the participation of veteran performers, young Saudi and Arab artists, and top stars of international cinema.
This first celebration of its kind in the Kingdom is evidence of the cultural and artistic movement that Saudi Arabia is experiencing today, according to the Red Sea International Film Festival Chairman Mohammed Al-Turki.
Al-Turki described the organization of the festival as a “challenge” that Saudi Arabia had accepted and raced against time to have the event rise to the occasion and reach a global stage.
The festival kicked off with the Middle Eastern premiere of Joe Wright’s musical romance Cyrano.
Wright’s first musical adapts Erica Schmidt’s 2018 stage musical of the same name, which was itself based on the classic 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand.
It is noteworthy that the festival will showcase 138 films from 67 countries in more than 30 languages. It will also focus on honoring women and their role in the film industry.
The festival will organize a range of activities, performances, and events, including awards honoring women figures, seminars, and specialized lectures.
French actress Catherine Deneuve, an international artist who has presented many works and won many awards worldwide, including the British Academy Award (BAFTA), will be honored at the festival.
One of the most significant cinematic figures in the Kingdom, Haifaa Al-Mansour, an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, will also be honored at the festival.