Oliver Stone to Head Jury of Inaugural Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia

Oliver Stone - Getty - H 2019
Roberto Serra - Iguana Press/Getty Images

The director will also present a screening of Costa Gavras' classic 'Z' at the coastal city of Jeddah next month.

Oliver Stone will serve as jury president of the international competition at the inaugural Red Sea Film Festival, set to take place in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah next month.

The Platoon and Wall Street director will oversee a jury that will be focused on "original, daring productions by emerging and established voices," the festival said, adding that there would be an emphasis on features from the Arab world and the "Global South," meaning emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The jury will hand out a number of Yusr Awards — named after the black coral formations found in the Red Sea — and topped by the Golden Yusr for best feature film, which comes with a $100,000 prize. 

"We are most pleased to have Oliver Stone leading our jury," said festival director Mahmoud Sabbagh. "Penning Scarface and Midnight Express, directing Platoon and Natural Born Killers, to name a few, he cherishes originality, craft and creativity, values at the heart of the Red Sea Film Festival. For a new breed of filmmakers competing for the Yusr awards, his watchful eye and sense of authorship will be inspirational."

Stone will also present a classic film that inspired him, Costa Gavras' Z.

The festival has also unveiled its opening night film in Saudi feature The Book of Sun, directed by the Godus Brothers and set in 2010 just as young Saudis were becoming some of the biggest YouTube stars in the Arab world. 

The Red Sea Film Festival will run March 12-21.