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RSIFF celebrates Saudi Cinema Nights in Jeddah on June 16–17
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 16 - 06 - 2021

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) presents Saudi Cinema Nights — a showcase of new Saudi films at MUVI Cinema Mall of Arabia, Jeddah June 16–17, 2021.
The two-day event will see premieres alongside short films in a program of recent works by Saudi directors. Audiences will enjoy the world premiere of Carnaval City (2021) and the Arab premiere of 40 Years and One Night (2020) in the presence of the directors and casts.
On Wednesday, 40 Years and One Night (2020) arrives on the Saudi big screen following its world premiere at Malmö Arab Film Festival. Directed by Mohammed Alholayyil, 40 Years and One Night tells the story of one family, an accident, and a life-changing night of uncovered secrets. The sparse and tense family drama received $500,000 of funding by the Red Sea International Film Festival
The following night, Thursday, Carnaval City (2020), directed by Wael Abu Mansour, makes its world premiere. When Masoud sets out with Salma on a journey with no destination and no plans to return, the road into the desert leads to an abandoned theme park and a reckoning with the self. After they break down in the desert, the adventure takes an unexpected turn. Carnaval City's entrancing road trip pays homage to Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas (1984)
The world premiere is preceded by a curated selection of recent Saudi shorts, a program that brings together some of the Kingdom's most exciting emerging directors and actors:
...And when do I sleep? (2020)
Directed by Husam Alsayed
In the dead of night, insomnia warps vision – Adam hears a woman call out, but no one is there. This eerie short from director Husam Alsayad – a founder member of Telfaz11 – plunges the viewer into a twisted dream world.
Ongoing Lullaby (2020)
Directed by Hisham Fadel
An intimate portrait of a woman's daily life as she becomes hounded by a relentless inner monologue. Director Hisham Fadel sensitively captures Sarah Taibah's riveting performance, tracking the melancholy, doubts, fears, and hesitations of a woman striving to be independent, yet haunted by creeping loneliness.
The girls who burned the night (2020)
Directed by Sarah Mesfer
Teenage Saudi sisters, Sasabel and Wasan, are battling for independence. A small act of rebellion causes first tension, then greater understanding, as they explore their dreams and hopes together in the dark.
Goin' South (2019)
Directed by Mohammed Alhamoud
Newlyweds pay their first visit to the groom's hometown. Despite a modern approach to dating, discovering they come from two different worlds, their relationship is put to the test. It's a sensitive look at shifting cultures by award-winning director Mohammed Alhamoud, founder of Last Scene Films, an independent production house in Riyadh.
The two-day public program brings together filmmakers, film industry, and film lovers from across the Kingdom in Jeddah, the home of the Red Sea Film Foundation, for a celebration of the most exciting emerging voices in the Saudi film scene. — SG


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