This website requires JavaScript.


Arts & Culture


Third edition of the Red Sea Festival kicks off in Jeddah with global stars on the red carpet

The city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia solidifies its presence in the global film arena by hosting the Saudi Film Festival, scheduled to run from November 30 to December 9. This year marks the third edition of the festival in Jeddah, underscoring Saudi Arabia’s aspirations to nurture its burgeoning film industry.

The festival, whose theme this year is “Your Story, Your Festival,” begins with the premiere of “HWJN,” a film directed by Yasir Al Yasiri, based on a Saudi fantasy novel by Ibraheem Abbas. The opening night is marked by a red carpet event, attracting international film figures and world stars such as Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Diane Kruger, Sharon Stone, Lebanese artist Maya Diab, and Maiwenn, who is there to present her film “Jeanne du Barry.”

A plethora of world stars

The festival sees 17 films competing for acclaim, following in the footsteps of “Hanging Gardens” by Ahmad Yassin Al Daradji, which won Best Film in the previous year. This year’s edition’s jury panel features a diverse lineup, headed by director and Baz Luhrmann who’s joined by Swedish-American actor Joel Kinnaman, Indian actress Freida Pinto, Egyptian actress Amina Khalil, and Spanish actress Paz Vega.


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TONY WARD (@tonywardcouture)


“The festival marks a turning point for every ambitious Saudi filmmaker, providing excellent support for young talents to showcase their work at international festivals,” explained Lebanese actress Nadine Nassib Njeim to Arab News.

In addition to the main competition, the festival also includes a short film contest, evaluated by a jury that includes Saudi director Hana Alomair, known for her Netflix series “Whispers,” French-Moroccan actor Assad Bouab, and Turkish-German director Fatih Akin. 


View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Red Sea Film Foundation (@redseafilm)


Spanning over ten days, the Red Sea International Film Festival showcases a variety of film categories, namely Special Screenings, Red Sea: Competition, Red Sea: Shorts Competition, Festival Favorites, Arab Spectacular, International Spectacular, New Saudi/ New Cinema: Shorts, Red Sea: New Vision, Red Sea: Families and Children, Red Sea: Series and Red Sea: Treasures. 

See also

#WeDreamArabia: Reimagining Cinema

Published on 1 December 2023

#Saudi Arabia