Oliver Stone to head Red Sea International Film Festival Jury

February 17, 2020, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia | Oliver Stone will serve as the jury president of the international competition at the inaugural Red Sea Film Festival, it was announced Monday.

Stone and his Jury will oversee the International Competition, which is focused on original, daring productions by emerging and established voices, particularly those from the Arab world and the Global South. The competition values cinematic forms that push traditions, recognizing the innovators of independent film production.

The Jury will give out the following prizes:  Golden Yusr for Best Feature Film (Trophy, and $100,000), as well as Silver Yusrs for Best Director (Trophy, and $50,000), Best Screenplay (Trophy), Best Actor (Trophy), Best Actress (Trophy) and Best Cinematic Contribution (Trophy).

The Yusr Awards are named after the black coral formations found in the Red Sea of Jeddah’s coast. The results will be announced during the awarding ceremony, held on 19 March, 2020.

The Festival is Saudi Arabia’s first international film festival and presents global cinema, with a focus on the Global South and takes place March 12–21, 2020 in Jeddah Old Town, on the Red Sea coast. The Festival is committed to building a solid foundation for the film industry, building connections between the Arab region and the world.

“We are most pleased to have Oliver Stone leading our Jury,” says Festival Director Mahmoud Sabbagh. Stone is a one-of-a-kind. His incredible films about the Vietnam War and American political life have changed our thinking of history, giving new perspectives and challenging accepted truths. This is combined with technical prowess and captivating style of filmmaking that marks out his films as genuine originals. He is a three-time Oscar winner. An auteur in the truest sense of the word.

“Oliver Stone is behind some of the all-time great pieces of cinema,” adds Sabbagh. “Penning Scarface and Midnight Express, directing Platoon and Natural Born Killers, to name a few, he cherishes originality, craft and creativity, values at the heart of the Red Sea FF. For a new breed of filmmakers competing for the Yusr awards, his watchful eye and sense of authorship will be inspirational.”

Stone will also present a classic film that inspired him, Z by Costa Gavras. Which is a film about a Greek progressive deputy who is assassinated. The investigating judge in charge of the investigation highlights the role of the government, in particular the army and the police in this assassination.

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