26 November 2023:
Hayder Dawood’s highly anticipated documentary short THE LAST WINTER has been selected officially to be screened in the prestigious New Saudi/New Cinema section of the third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival, which will take place from November 30th to December 9th in Saudi Arabia.
The film is expected to screen twice throughout the festival’s runtime at the Red Sea Mall’s Vox Cinema 5 — once on Tuesday, December 5th at 4 pm, and another on Friday, December 8th at 7 pm.
Commenting on the fast-approaching premiere, Dawood expressed his pride and joy for the opportunity to hold his film’s world premiere in his own country, adding that “this film is a window into the soul of a Saudi artist from the perspective of my friend Mohsen and I. It is a story of longing and ambition that captures the essence of what it means to chase your dreams in a land that is not your own with the hope that you may one day return to your homeland and contribute to its development in any meaningful way.”
THE LAST WINTER takes viewers on a personal journey that intertwines the director's own story with the larger narrative of Saudi Arabia's cultural metamorphosis and the nascent cinema industry. The film captures the essence of being far from home while nurturing the dream to contribute to one's cultural heritage, exploring the bond between artists and their roots within the emerging cinematic landscape of Saudi Arabia.
This captivating documentary, set against the serene backdrop of a Swedish winter, offers a lighthearted yet earnest critique of the artistic struggle and the broader challenges encountered within the film industry.
It follows Mohsen, who returns to visit his friend Hayder four years after his initial journey to Sweden while being filled with a deep longing for their shared homeland of Saudi Arabia.
As they navigate through Hayder’s final winter there, their friendship grows stronger, becoming a source of support and comfort amid a backdrop of longing and change.
With MAD Solutions handling the worldwide distribution rights, THE LAST WINTER features a talented cast, including Mohsen Ahmed, Hayder Dawood, Daniel Vasilca, and Alina Vasilca. The film is also written by Hayder and Mohsen, with Hayder serving as the DOP and editor as well.
Hayder Dawood is a visionary Saudi filmmaker whose cinematic journey is a testament to his dedication to capturing and documenting local narratives that are deeply rooted in the rich tapestry of Saudi culture.
In 2018, Hayder's artistic trajectory leaped when he moved to Sweden to pursue his graduate studies; this transformative period introduced a new depth to his work, infusing themes of home, nostalgia, and cultural identity.
Hayder's cinematic voice found its first echo in the Saudi film scene with COLOR OF SUNSET — a film that was screened at the 2020 Red Sea Film Festival in the Tajreeb Section.
His second film, THE WINDOW OF LIFE, premiered at the festival's inaugural edition the following year, further establishing his place in the industry.
Moreover, it screened in the Saudi Film Festival's national competition and the Bahrain Film Festival's documentary competition in 2022.