Source: RSIFF

Red Sea International Film Festival

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) has confirmed its second edition will run from December 1 to 10, 2022, returning to Jeddah’s historic old town of Al Balad that served as the backdrop for its inaugural edition.

Last year’s edition, which ran on the slightly later dates of December 6 to 15, featured 138 films and shorts from 67 countries in 34 languages, 27 of which hailed Saudi Arabia.

Revealing attendance official attendance figures for the first time, RSIFF said it had welcomed 30,000 spectators and 3,115 industry professionals, press and students over the course of the inaugural event. 

Filmmakers and talents making the trip to Jeddah included Haifaa Al Mansour, Yousra, Laila Eloui, Catherine Deneuve, Clive Owen, Hilary Swank, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Anthony Mackie, Vincent Cassel and Akshay Kumar.

Outside of the festival programme, the event’s Red Sea Souk industry sidebar was also seen as a success, with its programme comprising exhibition space, a talks and panels programme and a project market, at which the $700,000 was meted out in prize money to the participating projects.

“We are grateful to the film and local community who put their trust in us, this was a huge undertaking and the team worked extremely hard to deliver a festival that I believe exceeded expectations,” said Mohammed Al-Turki, chairman of the Red Sea International Festival Committee.

“To bring people together through the universal language of film within the historic surroundings of Jeddah’s historic old town, to see emerging local filmmakers present their films alongside international counterparts to full cinemas was truly extraordinary. The future is bright for Saudi film and I look forward to welcoming return and new guests from around the world for our second edition.”

RSIFF managing director Shivani Pandya Malhotra said the goal was to expand on the achievements of the inaugural edition.

“We will strive to build upon the foundations of a festival that promises a bright future for talent, brings the very best of cinema to audiences, supports the flourishing Saudi film industry, and becomes a gateway for business opportunities and collaboration,” she said.