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RSIFF opens film submissions for the inaugural festival
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 05 - 2021

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) is set to open to submissions for its first edition, taking place Nov. 11–20, 2021. Filmmakers from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, are invited to submit films from May 18 until Aug. 18, 2021.
Established names and emerging filmmakers from Arab, Asian and African filmmakers across the globe are welcome to submit their films to the Red Sea: Competition and Red Sea: Shorts Competition. Saudi filmmakers can also apply to screen as part of New Saudi/New Cinema and Tajreeb.
Submissions will be viewed and selected by the Red Sea International Film Festival team alongside a further seven curated categories. The Festival exists to support a vibrant film community and is dedicated to supporting the best in global cinema. The Arab world's most exciting film event is ready to welcome new talent from Saudi Arabia and the region, alongside the best in Asian, African, and Global cinema.
Set in the UNESCO world heritage site of Jeddah Old Town in the cosmopolitan city on the Red Sea Coast, the November 2021, in-person, gathering will bring together local film lovers, filmmakers, and international industry leaders. It looks to life beyond the coronavirus pandemic that postponed the Festival's debut in March 2020.
The event provides a vital new platform to strengthen creative connections between Saudi Arabia and the world with a program of the best in global cinema, classic and contemporary Arab film, alongside professional and industry strands.
More details of the Festival program, set to become the Arab world's largest celebration of global cinema, have also been revealed. Eleven program sections will showcase contemporary international and Arab cinema, Saudi features, shorts and experimental films, retrospectives, and future-oriented AR and VR experiences.
The films in competition will vie for the Yusr Awards, chosen by an International jury. The Red Sea Golden Yusr award for Best Film in competition will be awarded $100,000. Cash prizes will also be awarded to Best Director ($30,000), the Red Sea Silver Yusr Jury Prize ($20,000) and the Golden Yusr for Best Short Film ($25,000).
There will also be cash prizes for the Audience Award and Best Saudi Film. Other prizes will be awarded for Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress and Cinematic Contribution.
Submissions are welcomed via in the following four sections:
Red Sea: Competition
Featuring works from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, the competition values cinematic forms that push limits across fiction and documentary. Presenting daring productions by emerging and established voices, with generous prizes awarded by an international jury.
Red Sea: Shorts Competition
Featuring works of less than 60 minutes from Asia and Africa, including the Arab world, the competition values cinematic forms that push limits across fiction and documentary. Presenting daring productions by emerging and established voices, with generous prizes awarded by an international jury.
New Saudi/New Cinema
A curated introduction to the most vital new filmmakers and artists from Saudi Arabia. Diverse and dynamic, the voices shaping the scene; from arthouse features and shorts to documentaries, these are the films primed for launch on the international circuit.
Dynamic, extroverted, and impressionistic, Tajreeb is a program of experimental films from Saudi artists pushing limits with form and content, finding new ways to tell stories.
Apart from the four open categories, there are seven curated sections, including:
International Spectacular
Cinema from around the globe featuring celebrated auteurs and star names from around the globe. This section will feature some of the most highly anticipated and talked about films of the year shown for the first time in the Arab world.
Arab Spectacular
Find the pulse of Arab creativity in this carefully curated selection of commercial and independent movies, award winners, and regional premieres.
Red Sea: Festival Favorites
An expansive roundup of the year's international hits — audience and critics' favorites hot from the Festival circuit, and films discovered and specially curated by the Festival team.
Red Sea: Immersive Future
Celebrating technological advances in cinema, from new modes of viewing, immersive experiments and the latest in audio-visual experiences, this strand features the best in Augmented and Virtual Reality.
Red Sea: Treasures
A focus on the classics, including acclaimed titles from across the ages, and across the world. A selection of unmissable gems, these are the masterpieces that have inspired generations of directors – many screened for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
Red Sea: Next Generation
Entrancing stories for younger audiences with a big appetite for film, featuring leading studios, networks, and filmmakers from around the globe.
Red Sea: Episodic
The best in episodic storytelling from around the globe. Up to two episodes of series from television, streaming or web platforms. The place to discover the best in episodic, screened for the first time in the Kingdom. — SG

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