Shivani Pandya Malhotra
Malhotra became Managing Director of RSIFF in 2019, spearheading its inception with a mission to
establish a significant cultural event in Saudi Arabia, dedicated to cross-cultural exchange and the
growth of the Arab film industry. In her role at the Red Sea Foundation, Shivani has overseen
exponential growth for the organization and its flagship event, RSIFF – now preparing its third edition.
Beyond the festival, the Foundation has a year-round set of initiatives to finance, support, upskill and
connect filmmakers in the region – acting as a creative and financial catalyst for the motion picture
community at large. This includes the Red Sea Fund, which since 2019, has supported the development,
production, and post-production of 170 films from the Arab world and Africa; and Red Sea Labs, which
provides networking, workshopping and mentorship opportunities for creators of both film and
television projects. With an impressive track record of over 25 years in media and entertainment, Malhotra has garnered
acclaim, recognized among Variety’s top 500 leaders shaping the global entertainment industry, and
acknowledged as one of the most influential women in the region responsible for evolving the cultural
landscape by The National. She also serves as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences (AMPAS). Her career includes being a core member of the team that launched Dubai Media City
(DMC), serving on the Dubai Film; TV Commission (DFTC), and spearheading both the Gulf Film Festival
(GFF) as Managing Director and the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), where under her leadership,
it became recognized as a principal cultural event and the leading festival in the region. She has
launched funding and co-production initiatives, supporting over 300 projects, and currently has various
projects in production in collaboration with emerging regional filmmakers across diverse genres.
Malhotra began her career in India and was branch head for United Studios Limited, a subsidiary of the
UTV Group before moving to the UAE. Shivani has a Bachelor’s in Economics, a Master’s in
Communication, and a Master’s in Project Management, and has completed leadership programmes at
Harvard Business School.