Shivani Pandya Malhotra
Courtesy of Red Sea Film Festival
United Arab Emirates

Red Sea Film Festival


Managing Director

In December 2021, Pandya Malhotra faced challenges with the inaugural edition of her Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF), held in the port city of Jeddah, including the last-minute cancellation of artistic director Edouard Waintrop due to illness and the surging omicron variant. There were also the typical logistical struggles of a start-up, exacerbated by the fact that it was the first festival in Saudi Arabia, following the lifting of a 35-year ban on cinema in 2018. Still, overall it was judged a success, highlighted by the world premiere of “83,” toplined by Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar. In September 2022, she primed people for the second edition of the RSIFF, to be held in early December, with a luncheon co-hosted by Vanity Fair at the Venice International Film Festival that honored women breaking ground in film in the Middle East and North Africa. 


  • Red Sea Film Festival


  • Delhi University (India)
  • Xaviers Institute of Communications (India)

Variety Honors

  • 2021 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Red Sea Opens for Global Cinema

Red Sea Opens for Global Cinema

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Intl. Film Festival is becoming a major catalyst for moviemaking in a place where it hadn’t really existed for a long time before.Ever since Saudi Arabia lifted its 35-year-old religion-related ban on cinema in 2017, all aspects of film industry activity have been booming in the country. It’s also rapidly becoming the Middle East’s top-grossing territory in terms of theatrical box office returns.Reflecting this rapid growth, the Red Sea fest, Saudi’s first film event and market...


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