Red Sea International Film Festival unveils selection of festival favorites

A selection of new films from the global festival circuit will be screened as part of the program in Jeddah.

The Red Sea International Film Festival has unveiled its Festival Favorites selection. These films have been chosen from the world’s top film festivals and will be screened as part of the Red Sea International Film Festival lineup, bringing the best and promising films from some of the world’s up-and-coming talent to Jeddah.

The Festival Favorites selection includes a round-up of the year’s international successes from audiences and critics, as well as films discovered and specially selected by the festival team.

Speaking about the shortlisted films, Antoine Khalife, Director of Arab Programs and Film Classics, said, “Arabic directors present an extraordinary selection of stories that are both daring and original in the festival’s favorites selection. The subjects are often difficult and worrying, but told with such precision and authenticity that they bring to the screen these intimate subjects such as identity, revolution, patriotism in all forms of the genre with a subtle finesse of realization. and perfect in form.

Kaleem Aftab, Director of International Programming at RedSeaIFF, added, “We are committed to supporting emerging talent and fostering greater recognition of diversity in global cinema. The selection reinvents the landscape of cinema and highlights the impact of African and Asian filmmakers in their own countries, but also in Europe and North America.

The 19 films chosen as Festival Favorites include Ajoomma, by Singaporean director He Shuming. The Oscar-nominated film, inspired by soap operas, tells the story of a widow, an overprotective mother and Mrs. Lim, obsessed with the drama K.

The latest film from Oscar-nominated writer and director Basil Khalil, A weekend in Gazais a humorous, action-packed film about an English journalist, Michael, who finds himself trapped in the occupied Palestinian territories after a rapidly mutating virus is released from an infectious disease lab.

Helloa documentary by Houda Benyamina, Diam’s and Anne Cissé, centers on French rap star Mélanie Georgiades (aka Diam’s), who converted to Islam, turned her back on fame and dedicated herself to a orphanage charity.

Director Firas Khoury presents alam, a coming-of-age film set in the occupied Palestinian territories. The film explores themes of nationalism, propaganda, flag symbolism and the true meaning of freedom.

Godard Alone The Cinema is a documentary by Cyrille Leuthy about the Franco-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard, who left a legacy of around 140 films when he died. Leuthy’s documentary paints a portrait of the human side of this obsessive filmmaker, using interviews with many people who worked with him coupled with excerpts from Godard’s films.

In a film based on real events, Alice Diop stages the trial of a Senegalese student who drowned her child in the sea near the town of Saint-Omer in 2013. The film, titled Saint Omerreconstructs Diop’s direct experience of the trial in the character of Rama, a literary scholar writing an article about Medea, the figure from classical mythology who kills her own children.

Based on a graphic novel by Marya Zarif, Dounia And The Princess of Aleppo wraps the hard facts of the refugee experience in a feast of fantasy, with an animation style inspired by Syrian tradition and complemented by oud and flute music. The story follows six-year-old Dounia, who is forced to leave her home in Aleppo after her father is taken away in the middle of the night.

In another work of fact-based fiction, under the fig trees evokes the sights, smells and fraternal gossip of a team of fruit pickers who go daily to an orchard in northern Tunisia.

The blue caftan is a story that revolves around the relationship between Halim and Mina, a hardworking and loving couple who make traditional Moroccan caftans.

Elements of film noir and crime thriller combine in Youssef Chebi Ashkalwhich takes place in the strange and abandoned development of the Jardins de Carthage in the north of Tunis.

Gravity, from director Cedric Ido, combines gritty French urban drama with Japanese anime aesthetics in a unique combination. At the center of the story are brothers Daniel, a professional athlete, and Joshua, a wheelchair-bound drug lord. Tension mounts when their former friend Christophe returns from prison, as under a reddening sky, eight planets align and fall out of gravity.

riceboy sleeps is a study of a Korean mother and son as they assimilate to life in Canada, which won the top prize in the Platform section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

In Livea reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 masterpiece Ikiru Based in London, Mr. Williams (Bill Nighy) is a management official in a council planning office. For 30 years he ensured that there was no antagonism and no voices raised in his office, slipping in anything that needed action – like a mother’s petition for a playground – at the bottom of his bin. It is not until he is diagnosed with terminal cancer that he realizes how much life he has wasted. He decides to do something worthwhile: build this playground.

Located in Romania in 1972, Metronome centers on 17-year-old Ana, who is more concerned with a boy she loves than politics, but finds herself at a classmate’s party listening to The Doors on Radio Free Europe while her friends make plans to resist communism.

Through an artistic series of narrative leaps shot in black and white, Korean director Hong Sangsoo depicts a selection of conversations within the same building in his rich yet puzzling film To go up. A film that focuses on a director trying to cope with the pandemic forcing him to stay at home for a long time.

falcon lake is a sensitive story of the first love of actress-turned-director Charlotte Le Bon.

In Son, Kurdish-Austrian director Kurdwin Ayub draws on her own life experiences to tell the story of Yesmin, who wears a hijab in public but also films her best friends Bella and Nati twerking in the prayer clothes of his mother for TikTok. When they suddenly go viral – Yesmin’s mother is appalled, but her father proudly shows the clip to his friends – the girls are invited to perform in costume at Kurdish parties.

Based on real events, Fatih Akin’s film Rhine gold moves with infectious energy and a rock soundtrack through the life of German rapper Xatar.

The documentary A.K.A follows the lives of three Indian look-alikes, or “doubles”, who make a living impersonating Bollywood megastars.

The films will be screened during the Red Sea International Film Festival, which will take place from December 1 to 10, 2022 in Jeddah. The best new films from the world festival circuit, selected by the RSIFF team and presented as part of the Festival program in Jeddah

About Monty S. Maynard

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