Red Sea Film Festival

Featuring 130 films from 77 countries, over 10 days, Red Sea Film Festival welcomes the world to Saudi Arabia to celebrate the best of cinema. TPiMEA reports from the red carpet…

Hosted by the Red Sea Film Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation created to support the film industry in Saudi Arabia, Red Sea International Film Festival was a 10-day film extravaganza, welcoming some of the world’s biggest stars – from Johnny Depp and Will Smith to Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow – to Jeddah’s Ritz Carlton Hotel.

With the festival now into its third year, the remit for Director of Festival Operations Matthias Maurer was to bring the event to “a whole new level”. He commented: “As well as creating a showpiece event that supports the rapidly growing film industry in Saudi Arabia, the mandate for my team and I was to create a structure and legacy that will last long after the festival closes its doors, putting processes in place to do a higher proportion of our work in house in the future.”

Aiding Maurer on the project was his long-time friend and colleague, Martin Lauth, with the pair working together closely on all aspects of the festival production. “We were certainly not silent clients,” Lauth laughed. “We were both active in co-ordinating suppliers, and I went in-depth on a technical level.”

Photos: Red Sea International Film Festival