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The dates of the inaugural edition of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival have been pushed back once again, but this time by just a month.
The festival — which will be held in the coastal city of Jeddah — will now take place Dec. 6-15, shifting from its previous dates of Nov. 11-20.
While The Hollywood Reporter understands that the reasoning for the move has nothing to do with COVID-19 or any other event clashes, it does put the Red Sea Film Festival in almost exactly the same calendar slot once held by the Dubai Film Festival, which was the Gulf’s biggest and best-known film festival until it shuttered in 2018.
Originally the brainchild of Saudi director Mahmoud Sabbagh (Barakah Meets Barakah), The Red Sea Film Festival was due to launch in March 2020, but became one of the first festival casualties of the pandemic and was forced to postpone with just days to go.
Sabbagh stepped down from the event last year to focus on his own filmmaking, but the festival recently welcomed French film critic and former Cannes Directors’ Fortnight chief Edouard Waintrop as its artistic director.
The festival last month launched a new $10 million fund to support directors from the Arab world and Africa. The Red Sea Fund is set to back more than 100 feature projects in its first year, as well as episodic content, and will also be open to short films from Saudi nationals.
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