New Delhi: Joe Wright's 'Cyrano' to open Saudi Arabia'' Red Sea Film Festival
The Red Sea Film Festival is Saudi Arabias first full-fledged film festival and market with international ambitions. The Middle East premiere of the romantic movie Cyrano directed by Richard Wright will open the Red sea film Festival.
The ambitious event, which is a key plank of the kingdoms plans to diversify its oil-based economy and become renowned Middle East cinema hub, is set to run Dec. 6-15 in the historic district of Jeddah, UNEsco World Heritage site.
Organizers on Tuesday announced an array of fresh Arabic fare, including "Cyrano," "Maggio Gyllenhaal" and "The Lost Daughter," and the "Mona Lisa and The Blood Moon" from the Oscar-nominated Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Hosoda, which will open the Next Generation section.
The 16-title competition for the Golden Yusr award will open with the Palestinian helmer Hany Abu Assads HudaS Saloon a day before the competition.
The festivals closer is the world premiere of Amr Salamae supernatural drama Bara El Manhag, which stars an orphaned boy who tries to find a ghost who becomes he and his friend and mentor. Salamas is internationally known for his film Sheikh Jackson about an Islamic cleric who is obsessed with Michael Jackson.
In an interview with the Red Seas first edition, Mohammed Al-Turki, who is the event chairman, called it a landmark moment in a statement, which said it would support the development of thriving economies in the region. In expressing his call for the red sea re-election, the press called the first event truly shaped by presenting the launch for young Saudi and Arab talent, and support the growth of our flourishing industry.
The producer, who has cheated several Hollywood pics, including Richard Gere-starrer, "Arbitrage," added that Red Sea aims to mute together the global film industry and promote collaborations.
However, it remains unclear how strong the international presence at Red Sea fest will be, particularly if it is due to talent.
Organizers declined to specify which talent will come to Jeddah to promote the screenings in Saudi Arabia of international films, starting with Cyrano.
The media companies from the United States and elsewhere have clam up. However, there are signs that this is changing.
Cameras will start rolling in mid-November in Saudi Arabias AlUla region on Gerard Butler's action thriller Kandahar, directed by Ric Roman Waugh. The Saudi-owned Middle East TV giant is co-producing and cofinanzing together with The Capstone Group and CAA Media Finance.
SRMG is a Saudi Arabian publishing and media company that publicly traded, and remains tense in PMC, Varietys parent company.
On the main competition, the Red Sea organizers have assembled a robust and intelligently selected lineup with an accent on Arabic, and specifically Saudi, films, including the movie "Rupture," which is set to screen in the fest's main contest, featuring Billy Zane and the actors Ross Anderson and Kirsty Besterman (Doctor Who).
Red Seas artistic director Edouard Waintrop is a former Fortnight director. The statement said that he was able to start so strongly, with such countless incredible stories from the Arab world and further travelled, is significant and speaks to the promising future of this festival, both this year and beyond.
A number of satisfied international guests were in this stage: French screenwriter Catherine Deneuve, France's former culture minister Jack Lang, who is president of the Paris-based Institut du Monde Arabe, and also Argentinian-born French filmmaker Gaspar Noe.
The film, which is also scheduled for attend, is the latest in a series of groundbreaking Saudi filmmakers Haifaa Al-Mansour, whose film "Wadjda," about ya-na, and... he's gonna be filmed in 2012; Arabic stars Laila Eloui, Yousra and Hend Sabry, also planned to attend.
The Red Sea Souk, the fests market side, which runs Dec. 8-11, will comprise several events, provide curated meetings to encourage networking and dish out more than $18.000 to the winners among 23 selected Arabic projects.