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The first ever Red Sea International Film Festival will be held in Jeddah from March 12 to 21, 2020, organisers have announced. The event will bring together regional and international films and host educational workshops, industry master classes, art experiences and other cinema-related events. Actors and filmmakers from around the world are expected to attend.

To mark the event, the festival recently launched The Red Sea Lodge: The New Arab Wave, a script and feature lab in collaboration with the TorinoFilmLab which is now open for submissions. The Red Sea Lodge will select 12 Arab projects of which at least six will be from Saudi filmmakers. Those selected will participate in a five-month support programme designed to develop their projects with national and international film industry experts.

Mahmoud Sabbagh will serve as festival director and CEO, while Hussain Currimbhoy, who previously served as a documentary programmer at the Sundance Film Festival, joins the festival as artistic director. Shivani Pandya Malhotra, who has been with the Dubai International Film Festival for 15 years, joins as managing director.

The festival is supported by The Red Sea Film Festival Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation chaired by the Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, the first in the Saudi civil society law promoting the film culture.

To apply to The Red Sea Film Lodge and for further information on rules and regulations, go to redseafilmfest.com.