Today, the Saudi Red Sea Film Foundation revealed that it’s investing in Johnny Depp’s upcoming film Modi, Michael Mann’s new movie Ferrari, which is showing at the Venice Film Festival, and Guy Ritchie’s WWII spy action movie The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.
What is the Saudi Red Sea Film Foundation?
The Red Sea Film Foundation is basically the parent company of the Jeddah-based Red Sea International Film Festival which has supported multiple films through its Red Sea International Film Financing arm (That’s a mouthful). It notably has previously supported the opening film for Cannes 2023, Jeanne du Barry, as its first major international co-production.
There are no specifics on the scale of the investments, but the foundation announced Modi will also serve as a testing ground for a new program in which Saudi Arabian interns will be allowed on set to receive hands-on experience in departments such as art, photography, and production. Following the removal of its 35-year cinema ban in 2017, the investments also demonstrate Saudi Arabia’s intention and determination to carve out a place as a key player in the worldwide film industry.
“Following on from our first international co-production with Maïwenn’s highly anticipated Cannes opener Jeanne Du Barry, we are immensely elated to be playing a part in the debut of Michael Mann’s powerful film focused on one dramatic year in the life of Enzo Ferrari, as well as supporting the making of Johnny Depp’s fascinating window into the artist Modigliani’s life and work, which puts Depp back behind the camera, and Guy Ritchie’s propulsive exploration of WWII renegades through The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare“RSIFF CEO Mohammed Al Turki
What is Johnny Depp’s new movie ‘Modi’ & Guy Ritchie’s WW2 film about?
In Depp’s Modi, the world-renowned Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani’s life is put under a spotlight. Through the eyes of lead actor Riccardo Scamarcio, audiences are given a glimpse of Modigliani’s tense 48 hours in war-torn Paris. Alongside Al Pacino and Pierre Niney, a colorful cast of characters – including a love interest, an art dealer and a mysterious collector, complete the picture.
Per Deadline, the film involves: “[Modi’s] desire to prematurely end his career and leave the city is dismissed by fellow bohemians: French artist Maurice Utrillo, the Belarusian-born Chaim Soutine and his English muse and lover, Beatrice Hastings. Modi seeks advice from his Polish art dealer and friend Leopold Zborowski, but the chaos reaches a crescendo when he’s faced with a collector who could change his life.”
On the other hand, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is based on the actual account of the world’s first special forces operation. In this film an elite combat force, led by UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a close group of naval intelligence officers including James Bond novelist Ian Fleming, embark on a risky operation against the Nazis utilizing very unusual and extremely “ungentlemanly” fighting practices.