The Red Sea International Film Festival announces MBC GROUP – the largest and leading media company in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) – as festival partner. This partnership is considered highly valuable to the Red Sea International Film Festival – which celebrates its inaugural edition this December – given the unprecedented scale of this cinematic event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab world.
Part of the partnership with MBC GROUP will involve elevating and publicising the accomplishments of the Red Sea International Film Festival, taking place in Jeddah. This includes broadcasting the festival’s activities, as well as assisting the festival in inviting local talent to participate in MBC’s special “Talent Days” workshop.
The strategic partnership also extends to films, with several MBC STUDIOS productions debuting or being showcased at the festival. They include two titles being presented in the “New Saudi Cinema” category: “Kayan” by Hakim Jomah, “Route Ten” by Omar Naim, as well as “Rupture” by Hamzah Jamjoom competing in the Red Sea Competition.
Furthermore, “Becoming”, a film produced by the Red Sea International Film Festival, which will premiere at the event on 8 December 2021, will be available to stream on Shahid VIP – MBC GROUP’s leading SVOD streaming platform – in the MENA region immediately after the festival. The premiere of “Becoming” coincides with an important festival event dedicated to celebrating women’s empowerment.
In terms of mentorship and training, the Red Sea International Film Festival’s “Talent Days” programme, taking place 12-13 December in partnership with MBC GROUP, is designed for emerging and amateur filmmakers, scriptwriters, and producers in the region. Featuring workshops, keynote speeches, and panel discussions on a wide range of topics relating to the film industry, the programme offers the opportunity for up-and-coming talent to learn from leading local, regional, and international experts, as well as set new benchmarks for the film industry in KSA.
During the Festival’s “Talent Days” programme, Shahid will be awarding a cash prize of $100,000 to a Saudi project in development or in production, which will result in the winning title being exhibited across the MENA region.
Jana Yamani, Executive Director of MBC Academy, MBC Talent and MBC Al Amal stated: “MBC GROUP and the Red Sea International Film Festival share a unified vision for the region’s youth in media and film production. This generation of young talent consists of ambitious changemakers who seek, not only to create change and make an impact, but redefine the region’s media and entertainment content landscape.”
She continued: “We believe that our partnership with the festival creates a synergy that ultimately develops and showcases the level of talent and creativity our Saudi youth possesses. Being the first Saudi cinematic celebration of its kind, the Red Sea International Film Festival provides a unique platform for young talent to make their mark on the Arab World and beyond. It is our mission to ensure that their capabilities are shown across the world.”
Shivani Pandiya Malhotra, Managing Director at the Red Sea International Film Festival, commented on this momentous partnership: “It is our honour to collaborate with the media giant, MBC GROUP as our festival partner. As the pioneering media company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region, MBC’s expertise and perceptions are extremely valuable to us, our talents, and our guests.
“Our purpose at the Red Sea International Film Festival is to empower the youth and provide Saudi talent with a platform and creative outlet for storytelling. With MBC’s contribution to the festival, our efforts are amplified – the festival aims to promote cross-cultural exchange and foster the growth of the Arab film industry. Alongside our partner MBC, with its wide reach across the region, the festival is set to position the Kingdom as a contributor to the international film industry, whilst creating and delivering a world-class event for the people of the nation.”