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$10 million Red Sea Fund to back over 100 projects
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 15 - 06 - 2021

The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation (RSFFF) has announced the Red Sea Fund. The $10 million fund will support projects with directors from the Arab World and Africa, launching a new generation of filmmakers and supporting established auteurs as they bring their work from script to screen.
The fund will back more than 100 projects in its first year, creating a game-changing boost for filmmakers from Africa and the Arab world by supporting fiction, documentary and animation feature films, as well as episodic content.
Additionally, Saudi nationals will be able to apply to the Red Sea Fund to support short films in development and production.
"Helping African and Arab cinema grow, that's a very exciting responsibility," said Edouard Waintrop, Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) Artistic Director. "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 of up to $10 million 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 Red Sea Fund is part of the Red Sea Film Foundation's commitment to the regional screen sector, that will also include launching the inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival that will take place from Nov. 11 – 20, 2021.
The Festival will see the launch of the Red Sea Souk, its market place and industry hub for the region. 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 Souk - Project Market will take place from Nov. 12-15, 2021, at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah. The projects will compete for the Red Sea Development and Production Awards respectively in the amount of $25,000 and $100,000.
The Red Sea Souk Films-in-Progress Workshop will take place from Nov. 12-15, 2021, at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah. Each selected project in Films-in-Progress will compete for the Red Sea Post-Production Awards in the amount of $30,000.
"The Red Sea Fund is a major boost for the African and Arab film industry," said Shivani Pandya, RSIFF 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."
The Red Sea Souk will also contain panels, networking events, workshops and booths connecting the international film community to the exciting new Saudi market.
Applications are welcome from around the world to support projects that are being helmed by an African or Arab director. The Red Sea Fund is open from June 15 – July 21, 2021.
The Red Sea Fund will be split across three main categories
Red Sea Fund – Development
The fund aims to support bold and creative directors in developing live-action, emerging media, and animation projects from treatments to production-ready screenplays and concepts. Red Sea Fund will develop projects from Arab, African and Saudi directors that have a director and producer attached.
Red Sea Fund – Production.
The Red Sea Fund – Production is for projects going into production and is aimed at supporting any aspect of the shoot. Open to viable projects at the production stage, with a script, committed director and producer attached, as well as potential cast and confirmed timeline. The team can be emerging or established, but with proven experience in filmmaking.
Red Sea Fund – Post-Production
A fund supporting all aspects of post-production on feature-length projects. Once a rough cut is ready, these grants will support filmmakers to complete their films and get them ready for distribution and exhibition. The team can be emerging or established, but with proven experience in filmmaking. — SG


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