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The Red Sea Film Foundation, the Saudi Arabian organization that overseas the kingdom’s Red Sea International Film Festival, has launched the Red Sea Fund, a $10 million fund aimed at supporting projects with directors from the Arab world and Africa.
The 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.
“Helping African and Arab cinema grow, that’s a very exciting responsibility,” said the festival’s newly-appointed artistic director, Edouard Waintrop. “That’s what the Red Sea Fund will do at every stage of the making of the chosen movies and episodic content. In providing more than 100 grants to help the development, production and post-production of movies across the Arab World and Africa, the Red Sea Fund will help cinema that is in full metamorphosis.”
The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival is due to take place in Jeddah Nov. 11-Nov. 20 (it was set to launch in April 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and will see the launch of the Red Sea Souk, a regional market place and industry hub. Red Sea Souk will include a project market, with pitching sessions of more than 20 projects from the Arab world and Africa, as well as films-in-progress workshop. All projects that apply to the Red Sea Fund will automatically be eligible for Red Sea Souk – project market and Red Sea Souk films-in progress Workshop.
“The Red Sea Fund is a major boost for the African and Arab film industry, says Shivani Pandya, the Red Sea Film Festival’s managing director. “Over the past two decades, we have seen the Arab and African film industry grow and flourish. The Fund and the Red Sea Souk will provide more tools to support the Arab and African film business to make even more of an impact on the international marketplace with the launch of its project market and films in-progress workshop this November.”
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