Line-up and jury announced for the first Red Sea Shorts Competition


JEDDAH — The Red Sea International Film Festival announces Tim Redford as president of the jury for the inaugural Red Sea Shorts competition. Redford is a leader in the global short film scene through his work with Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the Short Film Conference, and Curtocircuíto International Festival of Short Films.

He is joined by Tunisian actress Najla Ben Abdallah, and Saudi screenwriter and cinema pioneer Ahmad Almulla.

Festival Director Mahmoud Sabbagh commented: “Short films have a special place in Saudi film culture; it is a format that allows for experimentation and expression. The competition also taps into a lively Arab shorts community to showcase the best of next-generation filmmaking. It’s exciting to welcome Tim Redford, with his global outlook, to helm the jury for the first Red Sea Shorts program.”

With 13 films from seven countries, a theme found throughout the shorts is the effects of shifting social contexts.

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. The line-up explores the limits of what short films can be.

Jury President Redford (France) 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 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, Najla Ben Abdallah (Tunisia) began her career in front of the cameras with TV commercials. In 2009, she featured in her first TV show, the Ramadan TV series "Donia”. Her first cinematic role was Lilly in "False Note".

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

A major contributor to the cultural life of Saudi Arabia, Ahmad Almulla (KSA) is a poet, and arts developer and cultural consultant.

He has served as Director of the Saudi Film Festival (2008, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019); Director of the Poetry Festival (2015, 2016, 2017); Executive Manager and Member of the board for the Literary Club, Dammam (2006–2010); today, he is a consultant to the Saudi Culture and Arts Society. — SG