When it comes to entertainment, not many countries have a schedule as busy as Saudi Arabia’s. This month alone, the Gulf State has monopolized the almost entirety of the region’s cultural calendar by hosting some of the Arab World’s hottest events in the space of a few weeks only. From SoundStorm in Riyadh and Balad Beast in Jeddah to Chinese musician Nine Song’s world premiere in AlUla last weekend, the Kingdom is putting up a veritable carnival of concerts for music lovers of each genre to enjoy amid breathtaking backdrops. And it’s not just a rich music scene that Saudi Arabia proudly boasts.
Coming up very (very) soon, Jeddah will turn into the Middle East’s capital of cinema for ten days as the Red Sea Film Festival (RSFF), running from Dec. 1 to 10, will seek to spotlight some of the region and the world’s latest silver screen ventures.
Entering its second edition, the esteemed gathering has just revealed the star-studded names of the jury that will be attending, viewing, and assessing the features that are soon to be presented. According to the latest news, it has been reported that Oscar-nominated Tunisian filmmaker and director Kaouther Ben Hania will be among some of the Arab opinion leaders that will be present at this year’s iteration of RSFF as members of the jury. Palestinian actor Ali Suleiman, known for his appearance in Lemon Tree and Paradise Now, alongside Egyptian icon Nelly Karim, recognized for her recent role in Faten Amal Harbi, will join Ben Hania in sharing their knowledge and expertise to select the winner of the festival’s main feature competition.
With a specific focus on the region, the African continent, as well as Asia, their respective perspectives will be at the center of RSFF’s stage. Last year, Tbilisi-born Levan Koguashvilii brought the much coveted first prize back home for his drama title, Brighton 4th, which follows a Georgian wrestler who travels to Brooklyn to help his son out of a gambling debt.