9 global films debuting at Red Sea International Film Festival

9 global films debuting at Red Sea International Film Festival

Alongside a number of incredible local productions, we take a look at the exciting premieres of international films being showcased
30 November 23
Red Sea International Film Festival 2023

The Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) is all set to make its mark in Jeddah once again, running from November 30 to December 9 for its third edition.

Recently unveiled, this year's distinct theme, "Your Story, Your Festival," aims to capture the heart of personal narratives by embracing the values of connection, diversity, and cultural exchange using the digital medium of film.

Opening the RSIFF will be the Saudi made fantasy film HWJN, showcasing the incredible talents and priduction facilities available in the Kingdom. Alongside local productions, a number of international titles will be premiering at the hotly anticipated third edition of the RSIFF, let's take a look:

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayo Miyazaki

Language: Japanese

Anime style cartoon, The Boy and the Heron follows Mahito, a young 12-year-old boy, and his struggles to settle in a new town after his mother's death. However, when a talking heron informs Mahito that his mother is still alive, he enters an abandoned tower in search of her, which takes him to another world.

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget

Director: Sam Fell

Language: English

Get ready for the classic stop-motion's long-awaited sequel, Chicken Run is back. Ginger, the courageous hen from the original film, has found her ideal life on a peaceful island sanctuary, far from human threats. She plans to raise her chick, Molly, alongside Rocky. However, back on the mainland, a new peril emerges for the chickens: an enticing yet treacherous farm that lures unsuspecting poultry to their doom. When Molly gets trapped in this dangerous place, Ginger and her team embark on a daring mission, akin to a "Mission Impossible," to rescue her.

Copa 71

Director: Rachel Ramsay & James Erskine

Language: English, Spanish, Italian and French

This forgotten women's tournament, existing outside FIFA's influence, was omitted from football history until now, unveiling a hidden chapter waiting to be rediscovered. In August 1971, despite FIFA's refusal to acknowledge it as the inaugural Women's World Cup, teams from England, Argentina, France, Denmark, and Italy converged in Mexico for an extraordinary event. The tournament was grandiose with massive sponsorship, merchandise, and a historic Azteca stadium packed with 110,000 enthusiastic fans treating the players like celebrities. Through this enthralling documentary, the pioneering women of that time share their experiences from this groundbreaking international event, while current players express astonishment at never having heard of it.


Director: Yann Mounir Demange

Language: English & French

Mounir, originally from Paris, returns from the UK to his the city, navigating a blend of memories from his past and surreal glimpses of the present. Seeking connections with his estranged father and a reclamation of his Arab identity, he encounters Hafzia, a French Algerian woman whose persona sparks a new way of existence for him. Their journey meanders through familiar Parisian scenes and theatrical settings, blurring the lines between reality and dreamlike sequences, including enigmatic appearances of dancing troupes emerging from the mist. This fragmented narrative weaves together to paint a captivating portrait of internal conflict and self-discovery.


Director: Michael Mann

Language: English

Adam Driver portrays and embodies Enzo Ferrari, the stern and determined head of the family-owned Ferrari car company. Caught between his wife (Penelope Cruz) and his mistress (Shailene Woodley), its clear that Ferrari is grappling with martial strife and the imminent failure of his family business. But, his fixation lies in winning one significant race, believing it will salvage Ferrari's dwindling fortunes. Not even the growing number of deceased drivers, bringing disgrace to the sport, can deter his singular focus.


Director: Ava Duvernay

Language: English

Origin is a compelling drama based on Isabel Wilkerson's Pulitzer Prize-winning book "Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents," which originated from Wilkerson's article about Trayvon Martin's murder, the movie follows Wilkerson's exploration of historical oppression and racism. Through flashbacks and historical reenactments, DuVernay vividly portrays these connections, resulting in a film that is thought-provoking, daring, and captivating.

The President's Wife

Director: Léa Domenach

Language: French

A political satire taking inspiration from Bernadette Chirac's 2001 book "Conversations," depicting her relationship with her husband, French President Jacques Chirac. A partnership driven by equal amounts of love, ambition and heart break. Despite enduring his infidelities, Bernadette is considered by the public as unapproachable and distant - until she transformed her image and thus the public perception of her character, beginning with hiring fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld to style her wardrobe. This is a story of the evolution of a woman scorned to a confident woman, whilst mixing in high society France.


Director: Sophia Coppola

Language: English

Teenager Priscilla Beaulieu meets Elvis Presley as the superstar completes mandatory military service in Germany, and Beaulieu was in school as her step father had been stationed in the country with the US Airforce. Moving to Graceland upon returning to America, Priscilla remains ever-ready by the phone, ensuring constant contact with Elvis during his Hollywood stints and tours, while he grapples with a growing addiction. Inspired by Priscilla Presley's memoir, the film unravels the obscured facets of Elvis and Priscilla's extended courtship and tumultuous marriage, painting a vivid and poignant portrayal of love, illusion, stardom, and turmoil.

Silent Night

Director: John Woo

Language: English

Portraying a distressed father, Joel Kinnaman witnesses the tragic death of his young son amid a gang altercation. During his recovery from an injury that rendered him voiceless, he commits himself to seeking vengeance as his primary goal. Engaging in a rigorous training routine, he prepares to confront the most nefarious elements of the city's criminal underworld on the night of Christmas Eve. An intense narrative unfolds through visuals and music alone, as throughout this entire film - there is no dialogue.