Cannes Makers 2023

Source: Cannes Marche

Raghad Bajbaa, Shahd Abonamai, Marwan Elshafie

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Labs and Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) have partnered with the Cannes market to launch a new mentoring programme for rising industry talent.

The first Cannes Makers programme will run from May 22-24 during the festival and will include personalised coaching, networking opportunities and professional skills development, with a special focus on the international sales process.

An initial cohort of eight participants were announced last week, selected from more than 250 applicants from 65 countries, with successful candidates coming from Greece, Nepal and Ukraine among others.

Now that Red Sea have come on board, three additional participants from Saudi will be integrated into the programme: Raghad Bajbaa, Shahd Abonamai, and Marwan Elshafie, a Saudi resident from Egypt. Bajbaa is a producer whose credits include short The Girls Who Burned The Night, which won a special mention at Cairo International Film Festival, and upcoming features The Physical Properties Of Coffee and A Last Argument Against Youth.

The three filmmakers were selected by Red Sea Labs, a platform established by the Red Sea Film Foundation to provide support to filmmakers and take their projects from inception to production.

After Cannes, all the participants will reunite for a second session of Cannes Makers as part of the Red Sea Labs programme to be held at the third edition of RSIFF in Jeddah, which runs from November 30 to December 9. This will continue to focus on international sales but with a special emphasis on the Middle East.

As well as mentoring a new generation of industry figures, the initiative aims to foster collaboration across borders and connect participants with key industry experts from across sales, distribution and exhibition. The program will also address issues impacting the industry, including diversity, inclusion, representation, and sustainability.

Cannes Makers 2023 participants

  • Shahd Abonamai (Saudi)
  • Raghad Bajbaa (Saudi)
  • Eyva Cibreville-Octaville (France)
  • Marawan Elshafie (Saudi-Egypt)
  • Angel Lama (Nepal)
  • Darya Levchenko (Ukraine)
  • Clemens Meyer (Germany)
  • Alphonse Morain (France)
  • Noa Nwande (France)
  • Mamoun Scally (Morocco)
  • Errika Zacharopoulou (Greece)