Red Sea Fund to Broaden Support For Saudi Filmmakers

The Red Sea Film Foundation has announced a new funding strategy on Thursday to better serve filmmakers from Saudi Arabia, the wider Arab region and Africa in bringing more diverse and authentic films to global audiences.

The newly designed Red Sea Fund will expand from one funding cycle to four cycles throughout the year with two cycles dedicated to post-production and separate cycles for development and production.

The first cycle for post-production for features, documentary and animation projects and closes on Feb. 24.

The cycle for development support will open in April, followed by production support in June and concluding with the second post-production support cycle in August.

The four funding strands will accelerate the growth of film production and support the early careers of ambitious filmmakers in the region and Africa by providing access to crucial funding throughout the year at various stages in the filmmaking process to propel projects further to completion.

The Red Sea Fund, launched in 2021, received more than 650 submissions — more than 30 percent from female filmmakers — from 81 countries in 36 languages.

Ninety-seven of these projects have now received support in the form of grants and funds.

An impressive 26 of these films are from an exciting new wave of Saudi filmmakers, 15 of them women; 11 projects are from African filmmakers, and the remaining 60 from the wider Arab region.

Shivani Pandya Malhotra, managing director of the Red Sea International Festival, said: “The Red Sea Foundation is committed to investing in, developing and promoting filmmakers from the Arab world and Africa as they continue to thrive and develop their skills to bring compelling and authentic stories across a range of genres, cultures and perspectives to the screen.

“Through the Red Sea Fund, we have supported a wealth of extraordinary projects, boosting the program with additional funding cycles that will provide talented filmmakers with the tools they need to develop unique and compelling films that represent and reflect the Arab world and Africa.”

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