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Red Sea Fund announces selected projects for first cycle
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 30 - 11 - 2021

The Red Sea Fund announced Tuesday its final selection of the much-anticipated projects that will receive the support of the Fund. The fund will support over 90 carefully selected projects from Saudi Arabia, the Arab World and Africa following over 650 submissions.
Of these selected projects, grants will be given to 37 projects in development, 33 projects in production, and 28 projects in post-production; a line up supported by the Red Sea Fund that aims to create a game changing generation of filmmakers.
The selected projects consist of 11 projects from Africa, 60 from the Arab region, and 26 from Saudi Arabia. The total of 97 winner projects are distributed across an exciting and unique selection of 59 feature fictions, 18 feature documentaries, 10 short fictions, 5 feature animations, 3 episodic series, and 2 short animations.
The support will further back more than 28 talented Saudi film directors, 54 percent of which are Saudi female filmmakers. The Red Sea Fund's support of national talents is prevalent with 11 Saudi projects securing funding for development across a range of themes, 13 Saudi projects receiving funding for production and 2 Saudi projects receiving funding for post-production.
Three committees of industry professionals were formed for each section of the funding, including a committee to award development funding, a committee to select projects destined for production funding, and a committee to award post-production funding. The committee awarding funds for post-production is headed by Edouard Waintrop, artistic director of the Red Sea International Film Festival.
"There is a wealth of undiscovered talent in Saudi Arabia and across the Arab world. As pioneers and believers in the importance of cinema and film in driving inspiration, creativity, and innovation, we are very proud to enable these brilliant artists to showcase their work by investing in their talents and empowering them to realize their dreams through the Red Sea Fund.
"These exceptional cinematic works will challenge people's perceptions of traditional cinema and revive the film industry in KSA and the region," said Waintrop. He continued, "We truly cannot wait to see these selections come to fruition and find their way to the big screen."
The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation established the Red Sea Fund to back 100 feature and short projects as well as episodic with directors from the Arab World and Africa. Earlier this year the fund was boosted by the Saudi Film Commission in an effort to help a larger pool of talented filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and the region bring their work from script to screen.
The fund has been designed to accelerate the growth of the flourishing industry and launch a new generation of filmmakers alongside assistance for established creatives. — SG


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