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Twelve teams of filmmakers from the Arab world will undergo development workshops and two projects will win half a million dollars each in production funding.

The Red Sea International Festival announced that an international committee picked a dozen projects for development at the inaugural Red Sea Lodge out of 120 submissions.

The projects include six Saudi teams, as well as teams from Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon. Out of the selection, female directors helm a third of projects.

The programme, created in collaboration with TorinoFilmLab, will include three workshops in Jeddah’s historic district. Topics include directing, cinematography, sound, and post-production.

The committee includes Mahmoud Sabbagh (Festival Director, Red Sea International Film Festival), Julie Bergeron (Head of the Red Sea Souk), Antoine Khalife (Director of the Arab Program, Red Sea International Film Festival), Jane Williams (Head of Studies, Biennale College Cinema), and Savina Neirotti (Executive Director, TorinoFilmLab).

The selected projects tackle a variety of issues, from Practicing Polygamy, a feature-length animated documentary about the customs, traditions, and daily reality of polygamy in Saudi Arabia, to Jordan’s ‘Inchalla it’s a Boy’, which features a recent widow who doesn’t have a son and could therefore lose the home she bought for her and her daughter.