Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival opens on 23rd October

SHARJAH, — The 4th edition of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF), will be held between 23rd and 28th October, the Sharjah Media Art for Youth and Children (FUNN) has announced.

The films will be held at various indoor locations such as JRCC and NOVO cinemas and outdoor at Al Majaz Waterfront and Al Qasba venues, it was also announced at a press conference at the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry today.

The SICFF is an internationally renowned platform for young filmmakers to make their debut and learn new film techniques. It is an initiative of FUNN, a Sharjah-based foundation that seeks to promote media arts and creative talent among youth in the UAE. FUNN is founded under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammad Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation, and Chairperson of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment.

“We are very proud of the global participation at the SICFF this year. Undoubtedly, our beginning was modest four years ago. However, this year, we will witness the participation of 425 films from 59 different participating countries, ranging from short and long features in various genres. As such, we want to ensure that SICFF provides the proper environment and necessary tools that could help develop a promising generation of creative young moviemakers who will grow to be competent professionals in the industry,” said Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of SICFF.

“We aimed to turn this festival from a local event to a global cinema extravaganza that goes beyond all geographical boundaries and takes the young talent towards wider horizons for the bright future – and with the participating numbers this year, we think we have succeeded in our goal,” she added.

“This year we would like to shine a spotlight on a special group of films that depict the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. By the screening of this collection, SICFF aims to provide a platform for the Syrian children filmmakers so that their voices can be heard. Furthermore, by providing feedback to these young filmmakers via critics or established professionals in the field, the festival and the jury members hope to contribute to the blossoming of these young cineastes into stellar filmmakers who can speak their truth through film,” said Shahin Yazdani, Member of the jury, independent filmmaker, producer and educator.

This year’s star-studded jury will feature SICFF’s regular panellists Shahin Yazdani and Abdullah Hassan Ahmed, newcomer Firdoze Bulbulia, and internationally renowned actor, director and producer, Will Smith. With an overwhelming shortlist of 121 short films from 33 countries, the films will be competing for awards in eight categories, such as “Best Child Made Film”, “Best Student Film”, “Best Emirati film”, “Best Short Film from the Gulf”, “Best International Short Film”, “Best Animation Film”, “Best Documentary Film” and “Best Feature Film”.

The 2016 edition of the festival will have two new features. The first is the video coverage contest that will entail a group of university students documenting the festival through their own video cameras. The students must start filming on the first day of the festival and produce the final edited version by October 27th for judging purposes.

Secondly, FUNN and Noon Arts Centre in Saudi Arabia have collaborated on a cultural exchange programme through which a documentary film will be produced to catalogue the participants’ experiences. The film will be screened on the last day of the festival.

Source: Emirates News Agency