Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea commences its second edition in Jeddah on Friday with Hollywood celebrities and stars from across the world making glaring appearances on the red carpet.
The festival will showcase 131 films and short films from 61 countries in 41 languages, containing both established and newcomers. The festival will run until December 10. The celebrities who walked the red carpet on Friday to the official launch of the Festival are Saudi actress Mila Alzahrani, Egyptian actors Hussein Fahmy, Yousra and Nelly Karim, Hollywood actors Michelle Rodriguez and Lucy Hale, Lebanese actors Nicolas Mouawad and Nadine Nassib Njeim, Australian director Andrew Dominik, South Korean actor Park Hae Soo and Indian actors Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra.
Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival is in association with VOX Cinemas and MBC Group. The festival began with ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?,’ a romantic comedy directed by Shekhar Kapur whose films Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) made him a populous director.
Alongside the best of international new cinema, numerous Saudi films will be shown. This includes 25 new films from Saudi filmmakers. In an extension to the movies, attendees can listen to the actors and filmmakers via panel talks and interviews. Celebrities including Hollywood actors Sharon Stone and Andy Garcia, Lebanese director and actress Nadine Labaki and Indian actor Ranbir Kapoor are in the row.
CEO Mohammed al-Turki said that the film festival not only provides a clear picture but also plays a significant role in reshaping the careers of the creators. “We have a unique opportunity to make new films accessible to wider audiences, showcase the work of exciting new voices and make a meaningful contribution to the Saudi culture and wider region,” al-Turki said.
Veteran filmmaker Oliver Stone is heading the judging panel in this year’s festival. Stone is along with the other members of the jury who are Georgian director Levan Koguashvili and Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania. The festival also includes the Red Sea Souk which will host events to foster co-production, and international distribution, and encourage new business opportunities.
Representatives from 46 countries will attend the Souk which runs from December 3 until December 6.