Saudi Arabias Red Sea Fest Partners With Venice  Final Cut Program For Middle East Cinema

Saudi Arabias Red Sea Fest Partners With Venice Final Cut Program For Middle East Cinema

08/25/2022

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival has partnered with Final Cut in Venice, the Venice fest’s program that supports films in post-production from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Red Sea fund is backing several projects in the support platform that supports films in post from the African and the Middle East nations of Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine and will also provide some funding to the winning project.

Additionally, attesting to Red Sea event’s growing importance in the MENA region, five films that have received funding from the fund will screen during Venice, which runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 10. That accounts for half of ten titles from MENA at Venice this year.

Pics that have tapped into Red Sea funding and are screening in the Venice official selection this year comprise Syrian director Soudade Kaadan’s hotly anticipated second feature “Nezouh,” which segues from Kaadan’s “The Day I Lost My Shadow” that won the Venice Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” award for a first work in 2018, among many other accolades. Kaadan’s second feature is again based on personal experiences set against the backdrop of Syria’s civil conflict.

“Nezou” is screening in Venice’s Orizzonti Extra section dedicated to cutting edge cinema, as is Iraqi writer-director Ahmed Yassin Al Daradj’s experimental debut feature “Hanging Gardens” (pictured) which centers on As’ad, a 12-year-old rubbish picker, who adopts an American sex doll from the Baghdad dumps, then crosses into a perilous red zone, finding himself caught in the crossfire. “Hanging Gardens” won the top prize at Venice’s 2021 edition of Final Cut.

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