Close this search box.

Red Sea International Film Festival Hails: A Cinematic Extravaganza of Talents, Premieres, and Conversations


The Red Sea International Film Festival, held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from November 30 to December 9, has broken grounds with its efforts to reshape the cinema and film industry, under the theme, ”Your Story, Your Festival.”

Photo: Red Sea International Film Festival

The festival commenced with a star-studded opening ceremony, presented in collaboration with VOX Cinemas, NEOM, and the MBC GROUP. The world premiere of Yasir Al-Yasiri’s new film, HWJN, marked a cinematic milestone, graced by the presence of jury president Baz Lurhmann and Joel Kinnaman, Freida Pinto, Amina Khalil, Paz Vega, Hana Alomair, and Fatih Akin. Raya Abi Rached and Ibrahim Alhajaj MC’d the opening night, with honorary awards presented by Mohammed Al Turki, Sharon Stone, and Sofia Vergara.

Photo: Red Sea International Film Festival

The day was attended by stars from the Arab world, including Yousri Nasrallah, Nabila Obeid, Lebleba, Laila Eloui, Amina Khalil, Yasmine Sabri, Dina El Sherbini, Hala Sidqi, Nadine Nejim, Kosai Khauli, Nicolas Mouawad, among others. International talents included Burak Özçivit, Frieda Pinto, Joel Kinnaman, Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone, Diane Kruger, Ranveer Singh, Paz Vega, Maiwenn, Zoe Saldana, Will Smith, Michelle Williams, Catherine Martin, Lucas Bravo, Alessandra Ambrosio, Ed Westwick, Amy Jackson, Rita Ora, and more.

Photo: Red Sea International Film Festival

The festival showcased the screening of a film portraying the life of Jeanne du Barry, with Johnny Depp expressing admiration for Saudi Arabia’s role in nurturing talent in both cinema and fashion. While Day 3 unfolded with riveting seminars and dialogues featuring Will Smith and Karan Johar, while screenings included the documentary “Khalid El Sheikh: Between the Thorns of Art and Politics,” Saudi film “Naga,” Korean film “The Deal,” and Uzbekistan’s inaugural film “Sunday.” The day’s discussions ranged from “The Author’s Journey: Navigating Film and Television Scripts and the Future of Storytelling” to “Redefining the Experience of Movie Theaters in the Post-Digital Era.” A special seminar highlighted influential women in the film industry, leading to Vanity Fair Europe’s Women in Cinema Dinner event, honoring Nabila Ebeid, at the Shangri-La in Jeddah, attended by a distinguished guest list including Catherine Deneuve, Naomi Campbell, Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, and many more.