A First Time: Red Sea Film Festival Backs Johnny Depp’s French Flick ‘Jeanne du Barry’

Bringing France’s 18th century royal drama to the forefront is French director Maïwenn’s period drama ‘Jeanne du Barry’ that will see Johnny Depp star as the powder haired stoic French King Louis XV. Backing this special feature is Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival Fund (RSIFFF) that has had a long history of supporting the development, production and post production of more than 170 films stemming from the Arab world and Africa at large. ‘Jeanne du Barry’ marks its first ever International co-production with France that will see RSIFFF serve as an executive producer of the feature.

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The film’s premise will sure be turning many heads as it explores a romance that defied the norms and etiquette of French courtship during the 18th century. Alongside Johnny Depp, the film stars its very own creator Maïwenn as Madamme Du Barry, the daughter of a seamstress who craves a life of luxury and pleasure. Throughout the film she manages to climb up the rungs of the French social ladder and gain the affection of Louis XV, eventually becoming the French king’s latest mistress.


With RSIFFF having already backed prominent and successful films in the industry including Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania’s ‘The Man Who Sold His Skin‘, a Venice award-winning and Oscar nominated film, the Saudi fund wants to bring the same success to ‘Jeanne du Barry’ as it continues to support distinctive filmmaking. “We hope this collaboration will strengthen the ties between Saudi and French cinema and the first of many international films that we can support that advocate for women filmmakers” said Red Sea CEO Mohammed Al Turki.

With such a collaboration, a new window of opportunity opens up for International and Arab female filmmakers to continue to rise and showcase their excellence in the art of storytelling. If last year was any indication with female-led films like Welsh-Egyptian Sally El Hosaini’s “The Swimmers” or Armenian-Egyptian Dessil Mekhtigian’s “From The Work Of The Devil” slaying 2022’s film roster, we are all geared up to see what 2023 has to offer.

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