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Line-up, jury announced for first Red Sea Shorts Competition

From left: Ahmad Al-Mulla, Najla ben Abdallah and Tim Redford. (Twitter photo)
From left: Ahmad Al-Mulla, Najla ben Abdallah and Tim Redford. (Twitter photo)
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28 Feb 2020 03:02:51 GMT9
28 Feb 2020 03:02:51 GMT9
  • Tim Redford to helm jury alongside Tunisian actress Najla ben Abdallah, Saudi screenwriter Ahmad Al-Mulla

Arab News, Jeddah

The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced Tim Redford as president of the jury for the inaugural Red Sea Shorts Competition.

The festival will run from March 12-21, and will screen 107 features and short films. Joining Redford as jurists will be Tunisian actress Najla ben Abdallah, and Saudi screenwriter and cinema pioneer Ahmad Al-Mulla.

Redford is a leader in the global short-film scene through his work with the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the Short Film Conference, and the Curtocircuito International Festival of Short Films.

Mahmoud Sabbagh, director of the Red Sea International Film Festival, said: “Short films have a special place in Saudi film culture. It’s a format that allows for experimentation and expression.”

The competition “taps into a lively Arab shorts community to showcase the best of next-generation filmmaking,” he added.

“It’s exciting to welcome Tim Redford, with his global outlook, to helm the jury for the first Red Sea Shorts program.”

The competition, which is open to all Arab directors, represents the pulse of next-generation Arab creativity, with a curated selection of short films produced or directed by the most exciting contemporary voices.

Redford has dedicated his career to diverse film organizations across Europe, especially those supporting short films.

Since 2015, he has been part of the executive team for the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France, where he coordinates the international selection committee, the African Perspectives program, and the online submission platform Short Film Depot.

He also serves on the board of the Short Film Conference, the only non-profit worldwide organization dedicated to the short-film community. 

Born in Tunis, Ben Abdallah began her career in front of the cameras with TV commercials. In 2009, she featured in her first TV show, the Ramadan series “Donia.” Her first cinematic role was in “False Note.”

In 2015, she starred in the Tunisian film “Thala Mon Amour” by Mehdi Hmili. In 2019, she starred alongside Sami Bouajila in Mehdi Barsaoui’s film “A Son,” which had its world premiere at the 76th Venice International Film Festival, where it was nominated for best film.

A major contributor to Saudi cultural life, Al-Mulla is a poet, arts developer and cultural consultant.

He was director of the Saudi Film Festival in 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019, and director of the Poetry Festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

He was executive manager and board member of the Dammam Literary Club from 2006-2010. He is currently a consultant to the Saudi Culture and Arts Society.

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