Arts & Culture

Saudi Arabia to Hold Its First International Film Festival in November

Saudi Arabia to Hold Its First International Film Festival in November

Courtesy of Red Sea International Film Festival

Saudi Arabia’s first ever Red Sea International Film Festival is set to take place in November, Variety reports, after a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be the first full-fledged film festival in Saudi Arabia with an international audience, running from Nov. 11-20 in the historic district of Jeddah.

The theme “will be Metamorphosis, which will celebrate the role of cinema as a force for positive change,” a statement by event’s organizers said. “It reflects on the festival’s local context: the impact of cinema’s triumphant return to Saudi Arabia since 2019, as well as the blossoming local and regional film scenes, exploring how cinema culture can create an interface connecting a new, outward-looking Saudi and the world.”

In 2017, the government of Saudi Arabia announced that it is lifting a ban on cinemas after more than 30 years, which was part of a number of reforms that were implemented to promote economic growth and cultural shifts, including lifting the ban on women’s driving and holding music concerts and a wide range of events in cities around the country.

Despite the absence of cinemas and film festivals, many notable directors and film producers rose over the years and produced internationally recognized works, such as the 2012 film Wadjda by director Haifaa al-Mansour and Barakah Meets Barakah by director Mahmoud Sabbagh.

Podcast: Nour Emam Revolutionizes Sex-Ed in Egypt
Anghami Becomes First Tech Company in Middle East to List on NASDAQ New York

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture

More in Arts & Culture

In Photos: Cairo Citadel’s Iftar Cannon Goes off for First Time in 30 Years

Egyptian Streets13 April 2021

‘The Present’ Film Depicting Palestinian Struggle Wins BAFTA Award

Egyptian Streets11 April 2021

Crossing Cultures: How K-Pop and Korean Drama Took Egypt By Storm

Mirna Abdulaal and Olivia Mustafa9 April 2021

Egyptologist Zahi Hawass Announces Discovery of Lost ‘Golden’ City in Luxor

Egyptian Streets8 April 2021

5 Initiatives Promoting Sex Positivity in the Middle East and North Africa

Egyptian Streets7 April 2021

Podcast: Amir El-Masry Talks Criminology and Acting Across Countries

Noran Morsi5 April 2021

An Ode to #ShopLocal: 5 of of Cairo’s Best Regular Bazaar Venues

Mary Aravanis28 March 2021

Zawya’s 13th Panorama of the European Film Festival Scheduled to Take Place April 1

Egyptian Streets27 March 2021