Algeria’s first animation feature “Khamsa – The Well of Oblivion” by Khaled Chiheb (AKA Vynom), the tale of an amnesiac boy navigating in a strange land, will have its Middle East premiere at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival as part of the fest’s newly introduced New Vision section.
Produced by Algeria’s D-Click Production, the story opens a window on Algerian culture. It follows an amnesiac boy called Adi who wakes up and finds himself down a dark well. After stumbling upon a gigantic underground temple and finding two strange creatures, he tries to regain his memory. To do this he is forced to cross the Door of Oblivion.
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Other standouts from the region in this section dedicated to fresh eye-opening pics, most of which are docs, comprise Moroccan director Adnane Baraka’s long-gestating doc “Fragments from Heaven,” about two men – one is a nomad, the other a scientist – who are combing the Moroccan desert for its recurring meteorite stones; Lebanese director Nadim Mishlawi’s “After the End of the World,” a personal look at Beirut and the city’s many scars; fellow Lebanese director Karim Kessem’s “Octopus,” about the aftermath of Beirut’s devastating 2020 port explosion; and the world premiere of “Lost Treasures of Arabia: The Ancient City of Dadan,” about an ancient city in Alula, a sprawling area of the Saudi desert.
Rounding out the selection are Canadian documaker Jacquelyn Mill’s “Geographies of Solitude,” an immersion into the rich landscapes of Sable Island, off the Nova Scotia coast; British director Mark Jenkin’s horror film “Enys Men,” set on a remote island in 1973, where a wildlife volunteer finds her reality starts spiralling into a nightmare; and Norwegian drama “A Human Position,” by Anders Emblem, about a young journalist who finds new meaning in her life when she attempts to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of an asylum seeker.
The second edition of the Red Sea fest will take place in Jeddah Dec. 1-10.
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