DUBAI: The Red Sea International Film Festival on Tuesday announced the winners of the Red Sea Souk Awards, which offers grants to develop projects by rising Saudi, Arab and African directors.  

Twenty-four new film projects screened as part of the Red Sea Souk, with 12 titles by filmmakers of African and Arab origin, alongside 12 Red Sea Lodge projects by Saudi, Arab and African directors which have been developed over the last year through workshops and in partnership with the Torino Film Lab.  


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The Red Sea Souk Project Market jury awards are supported by the Red Sea Fund, and five Saudi projects, eight African projects and eleven projects from the wider Arab region were featured in the selection.  

An additional wing of the Project Market is the Work-in-Progress Showcase featuring six feature films by directors who are also from African or Arab diasporas. All selected Work-In-Progress projects competed for the Red Sea Souk Awards — with two winners to be chosen by the Work-in-Progress Showcase Jury. 

Mohammed Al-Turki, CEO of the Red Sea Film Foundation, said in a statement: “The winners of this year’s Red Sea Souk Awards demonstrate the rich and varied new visions in filmmaking emerging both from the wider MENA region and from those who have roots here. 

“These directors are the cinematic voices of tomorrow and we are thrilled to play a part in the development of their talent and storytelling which will undoubtedly yield successes and international recognition,” he added.  

Winners include “By Hasnaa’s Side,” “The Girl and the Missing Bed,” “Nostalgia: A Life in First Capters,” “Men in the Sun,” “Rising Up At Night,” “My Semba,” “Animale,” “The Night Whisperer,” “Love Conquers All,” “Mecca, Berlin,” “In the Beginning, It Is the End,” “Madness and Honey Days,” “Eye of the Kite,” “Our Son is Prettier,” “Yunan,” “Fantastical Tale,” “Black Snake,” “My Father Killed Bourghiba,” “When I close My Eyes, I See Your Eyes,” and “The Return of the Prodigal Son.”

Here is the full list of winners:  

Arab Cinema Center will get two supported places on the International Film Festival Rotterdam Producers Lab.  

Saudi winner: Ghaidaa Abuazzah (“By Hasnaa’s Side”) 

Arab winner: Fatma Racha Shehadeh (“The Girl and The Missing Bed”) 

MAD Solutions will receive $50,000 to a project in development, in production or in post production.  

Winner: “Nostalgia: A Life In First Chapter” by Ameer Fakher Eldin 

OTICONS will get a Work-in-Progress film consisting of Music Consulting services worth $5,000 

Winner: “Men in the Sun” by Mahdi Fleifel 

SHIFT STUDIOS will get $12,000 for a promotion package and $8,000 for a full DCP package. 

The $12,000 winners: “Rising Up At Night” by Nelson Makengo and “My Semba” by Hugo Salvaterra 

The $8,000 winner: “Men in the Sun” by Mahdi Fleifel 

TITRAFILM will get $15,000 for a Work-in-Progress film.  

Winner: “Animale” by Emma Benestan 

Arab Radio and Television Network will get $10,000 grant for one Saudi Project in development or production and $50,000 for one Arab project in development or production. 

The $10,000 grant winner: “The Night Whisperer” by Lina Mahmoud 

The $50,000 grant winner: “Love Conquers All” by Danielle Arbid 

CineWaves Films will get $50,000 for a project in development, production or post-production. 

Winner: “Mecca, Berlin” by Majtaba Saeed 

Ithra will get $50,000 for one Saudi project in production or post-production.  

Winner: “The Night Whisperer” by Lina Mahmoud 

MBC Academy/Shahid will get $75,000 for a Saudi project in development, $75,000 for a Saudi project in development or production or post-production and $50,000 for an Arab project in development or post-production. 

The winner of the $75,000 for a Saudi project in development: “In the Beginning, It Is The End” by Ghadeer Binabbas 

The winner of the $75,000 for a Saudi project in development or production or post-production Winner: “By Hasnaa’s Side” by Amaal Youssif 

The winner of the $50,000 for an Arab project in development or post-production: “Madness and Honey Days” by Ahmed Yassin Al-Daradji.

Serieslab Awards got the $10,000 Red Sea Serieslab Award for: “Eye of the Kite” by Saleh Al-Hamad and “Our Son is Prettier” by Hanaa Saleh Alfassi. 

WIP Awards got the Red Sea Souk Post-Production Jury Special Mention Award with a grant of $10,000. The winner is “My Semba” by Hugo Salvaterra.  

The Red Sea Souk Post-Production Award was awarded to “Yunan” by Ameer Fakher Eldin with a grant of $30,000. 

The $50,000 Red Sea Souk Production Award for a Red Sea Lodge project.

Award by Project Market Jury went to: “By Hasnaa’s Side” by Amaal Youssif, “Fantastic Tale” by Vincho Nchogu, “Black Snake” by Naishe Nyamubaya and “My Father Killed Borghiba” by Fatma Riahi.  

The $25,000 Red Sea Souk Jury Special Mention Award went to “Love Conquers” by Danielle Arbid. 

The $35,000 Red Sea Souk Development Award went to “When I Close My Eyes, I See Your Eyes” by Sameh Alaa.  

The $100,000 Red Sea Souk Production Award went to “The Return Of The Prodigal Son” by Rani Massalha.  

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