Saudi fantasty film HWJN will open the Red Sea Film Festival 2023

Saudi fantasty film HWJN will open the Red Sea Film Festival 2023

Premiering at the region's largest film festival, Ibraheem Abbas' best-selling novel will finally come to life on screen
22 November 23
Red Sea International Film Festival, Jeddah

The third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) will return to Jeddah in the coming days, with an exciting number of international and home-grown films set to debut at the region's most prestigious celebration of film.

One of the most anticipated Saudi-made films, HWJN, has been confirmed to premiere at the RSIFF.

Rather aptly, HWJN is set in Jeddah. Directed by Dubai-based Iraqi, Yasir Al-Yasiri, HWJN is a blend of charming Arabic folklore and fantasy with a thread of modern sci-fi perspectives throughout, resulting in a unique and captivating supernatural fantasy film.

The story is based on a novel by local Saudi literary sensation, Ibraheem Abbas and in 2013, the book with the same title became a number one best seller across Saudi Arabia. And the film adaptation of HWJN will feature performances from accredited actors Baraa Alem, Nour Alkhadra, Naif Aldaferi, Alanoud Saud, Mohsen Mansour, and Shaimaa Al Tayeb.

HWJN is set in present-day Jeddah and follows the story of Baraa Alem, a jinn - a being with magical powers from ancient Arabic folklore - who lives in the modern world, unseen to humans but falls in love with one.

As Alem uncovers the truths of his royal heritage, he must embarks on a quest to regain his rightful legacy, confronting age-old adversaries in order to move forward and preserve the delicate balance between his world and the modern world. But how will this journey impact his world of jinn, and the modern world of his friend and love interest?

Antoine Khalife, Director of Arab Programs and Films for the RSIFF 2023, said of the premiere: “With ‘HWJN,’ Saudi cinema proves its capacity to bring together talents from across the Arab world at both the production and artistic levels. Through this choice, the Red Sea not only honours Saudi cinema but also all Arab talents, highlighting the remarkable progress that the Kingdom has witnessed in recent times.”

Opening on November 30, and running through to December 9, the festival will feature and debut many film creations under the theme of 'Your Story, Your Festival'. Announced in mid-November, the theme aims to encapsulate the essence of individual narratives, through embodying the ideals of connectivity, diversity and cultural exchange, all through the digital format of film.

Read more about the theme and the festival right here.