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The third edition selection of the Red Sea International Film Festival Shorts Competition presents a kaleidoscope of international filmmakers’ work
The third edition selection of the Red Sea International Film Festival Shorts Competition presents a kaleidoscope of international filmmakers’ work

الاثنين - 09 أكتوبر 2023

Mon - 09 Oct 2023

The Red Sea International Film Festival has selected an impressive program of short films from African and Asian filmmakers operating across the globe as part of the Red Sea: Shorts Competition strand. With the third edition of the festival taking place from 30 November to 9 December in Jeddah, this selection of short format works will complement the soon to be announced international feature films.

From Singapore and Senegal to Kazakhstan and Pakistan, the voices of 14 emerging and established filmmakers will be given a platform to showcase their talents. Their stories will challenge and charm audiences with thought-provoking narratives, curated to fit the Your Story Your Festival theme.

The titles to feature in the Red Sea International Shorts are all MENA or World premieres.

Kaleem Aftab, Director of International Programming, says: “We were overwhelmed by the record number of applications for our short film competition from filmmakers from Africa and Asia, working across the globe.

It was hard to whittle the number down to the 14 filmmakers we believe will become the next generation of great auteurs. We can't wait to welcome them to Jeddah to showcase their work and be a part of the global film community gathering during Red Sea IFF. We are more certain than ever that the future of film is in Asia and Africa, including the Arab world."

Red Sea: Shorts Competition – International Selection:


Iran, France

In Farnoosh Samadi’s hilarious black comedy, Iranian cinema censors are confused by new regulations about what is acceptable behaviour to show on screen. Do they cut, blur out, or leave in previously prohibited scenes?


Philippines, Singapore

The audition process for an exploitative game show becomes the latest test of a long-suffering mother’s fortitude and tenacity in this striking satire by Sonny Calvento, first seen at TIFF. A bold look at reality television, and the blurred lines between fact and fiction.



A young Khazak woman discovers she's pregnant in ShugylaSerzhan’s new film. However, as protests plunge the city into chaos, her world is turned upside down when her boyfriend suddenly disappears, leaving her alone and uncertain about her future as a mother.


South Africa

Mzu enters a police station in Cape Town and finds Fareed, a pensioner, has been waiting in the queue for a long time. The station is busy and chaotic, so Mzu takes it upon himself to see that Fareed is helped in this heart-breaking social drama by the award-wining director Imran Hamdulay.



Zamda is a young woman trapped in a makeshift shelter with other displaced individuals in Pakistan, a world wracked by chaos and uncertainty. She searches amongst photos of missing loved ones pasted on a wall, unable to escape the despair in this female focused narrative from Hira Yousafzai.


Ghana, France

Three connected generations of lost Ghanaian women fight to find meaning from both their lives and that of their young African nation, as they awaken in a strange ancestral land. A tale full of invention, melody, and vitality from AmarteiArmar.



At dusk, the spirit world grows bolder, in Awa Moctar Gueye’s fantastical film. The darkness of the Dakar market, where the solitary, slender figure of Pa Kong-Kong dwells, is considered no place for children to venture. However, Binta must prove to her peers that girls have the bravery to lead.



The Armenian courier Aziz needs money to save his wife. She is in a hospital clinging to life and he needs to find money to pay for her care. In this emotive drama by Tigran Agavelyan, Aziz must decide what moral boundaries he is willing to cross to raise the funds.


Iran, USA

In Saman Hosseinpuor and Ako Zandkarimi’s new film, a Kurdish refugee lives out of his suitcase, far from his homeland. In it he carries memories of his family. When someone steals the suitcase in the tumult of the foreign city centre, he loses his home for a second time.


Rwanda, Switzerland

Technology and waste, in our lands, our systems, our bones. Wandering our spaces, she cannot help but wonder, where is the space for healing? A melodic and transformative film looking at the cost of globalisation, waste, and heritage from Kantarama Gahigiri.


Pakistan, USA

Iman, a privileged Pakistani girl, goes with her family to buy a goat before the Eid al-Azha holiday, in Mahnoor Euceph’sfilm. She picks the cutest one, names it Barfi and takes it home. Smitten, she makes a plan to save Barfi's life before he can be sacrificed on Eid.


USA (Saudi Director)

Ethar Baamer’s short film depicts a woman in her twenties who feels overwhelmed by societal expectations that dictate how she should behave and who she should be. She escapes from all projected versions of herself, to break free from these constraints and find her own path toward self-realization.



Jovan, a 16-year-old religious teenager is watching impropervideos for the first time when unbeknownst to him the audio connects to his mother’s car Bluetooth. He is punished by his conservative parents and asked to repent without explanation, by Kevin Rahardjo.


Armenia, Germany

Ali comes from Germany with his 21-year-old daughter Hazal to his wintry mountainous homeland to support his elderly mother, in actor-producer Numan Acar’s film. When Hazal learns her grandmother's last wish, that she wants to be buried with her old suitcase, her curiosity is awakened.