The Red Sea International Film Festival (Red Sea IFF) has made an exciting announcement: Baz Luhrmann, the internationally renowned writer, director, and producer behind hits like “Elvis” and “Moulin Rouge!” will preside over this year’s Red Sea: Features Competition Jury.
The festival’s third edition is set to take place from November 30 to December 9 in the picturesque coastal city of Jeddah, situated on the eastern shore of the Red Sea
Luhrmann is a cinematic legend known for his storytelling across various creative domains, from film and opera to theater and music. His recent film, “Elvis” (2022), made history as the second-highest-grossing musical biopic worldwide. His illustrious filmography includes classics like “The Great Gatsby” (2013), “Romeo + Juliet” (1996), “Moulin Rouge” (2001), and the epic “Australia” (2008).
The Red Sea: Features competition will spotlight outstanding works from a diverse array of filmmakers hailing from the Arab region, Asia, and Africa. Seventeen feature films will be carefully selected, representing the most compelling, unique, and impressive cinematic achievements of the past year. These films will vie for the prestigious Yusr Awards, with Baz Luhrmann and the esteemed Jury making the final selections. In 2022, the Golden Yusr for Best Feature Film was awarded to “Hanging Gardens,” directed by Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji.
Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea IFF, expressed his delight at having Baz Luhrmann as the Jury’s head for their third edition. He praised Luhrmann’s pioneering role in pop culture and his creative versatility, making it a great honor to have him lead the jury.
In response, Baz Luhrmann shared his childhood fascination with the powerful landscapes depicted in “Lawrence of Arabia,” which ignited his enduring passion for the Arabian world. He was deeply inspired by the burgeoning filmmaking talent in Saudi Arabia and the broader region, capturing the attention of the global film community. Luhrmann eagerly anticipates presiding over this year’s Red Sea International Film Festival Jury, highlighting the industry’s leading and emerging talents. He sees this role as a chance to contribute to the cinematic evolution happening across the Arab region, Asia, and Africa. Luhrmann also emphasized the power of storytelling and festivals in bridging cultural gaps and fostering creativity.
Stay tuned for the festival’s film lineup, which promises to celebrate both emerging and established auteurs in the vibrant cinematic landscape presented by the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah.