Sharjah International Children Film Festival 2015: Oct 18-23 2015
Sharjah International Children Film Festival 2015: “More than just films!”
The activities are all taking place at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Center where the third edition of SICFF is being held from October 18 to 23 under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaherbint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs.
Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival is a project of FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts for Children and Youth, a Sharjah government under the generous patronage of Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah Her Highness Sheikha Jawaherbint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. In 2013, Her Highness was appointed as the UNHCR’s first Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children and in this role she helped increase public awareness about refugees and the work of UNHCR. During the last two years donations have reached Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt.
The festival, the first of its kind in the UAE and the Gulf region, aims to promote media literacy among children and young adults and encourage their creativity. It also aims to educate the next generation about film, and give youngsters a chance to see the best of Arab and international cinema, so as to build a strong national film industry.
His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, opened the third edition of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF 2015) at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre. The SICFF 2015 will continue until October 23rd.
During the opening ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan honoured the winners of the SICFF awards in six categories, including the Best Child-Made Film, the Best Short Film from the Gulf, the Best Animation Film, the Best International Short Film, the Best Documentary Film, and the Best Feature Film. The winners were given cash prizes and the festival’s trophy, while three films that got special mention were given appreciation certificates.
The award winners include Emirati directors Aisha Al Shurafa and Fatima Al Mazimi who received the Best Child Made Film award for their film “The Other Neighborhood”, while HashimSharaf from Bahrain won the Best Short Film in the Gulf, for his film “Sorej.”
The Best Animation Film award went to French Director Carlos De Carvalho for his film “Autumn Leaves”, while Tunisian Filmmaker AnisLassoued received the Best International Short Film prize for his film “My Shoes”.Holland Director Marleen Van der Werf won the Best Documentary Film for her film “Once upon a Tree”, and Ethiopian Swiss Stefan Jager got the Best Feature Film award for his film “Horizon Beautiful.”
The three films, namely “Don’t Ignore Me” by Emirati Director Maitha Nasser Baroot, “Ice Flower” by Egyptian Director SherenAbu Ouf, and “The Fantastic Flying Book of Mr. Morris Lessmore” by US directors William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburge, received appreciation certificates and a special mention from the jury.
The six-day festival, the first of its kind in the UAE and the region, is organised by FUNN- the Sharjah-based foundation dedicated to promoting media arts among children and young people in the UAE-with a view to promote media literacy among children and young people, foster their talent and creativity, and showcase their film productions.
Speaking on the occasion, Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Director of SICFF, said, “We have introduced major changes and developments into this year’s edition in line with our commitment to making the festival bigger and better year after year. The 2015 edition will see the showcasing of 175 films from 20 countries, alongside a variety of exciting activities and hands-on workshops. We are optimistic about the increasing number of visitors as we expect roughly 20,000 visitors to the festival and its parallel events.”
The film screenings will be held for the first time in seven citiesoutside the Emirate of Sharjahincluding Al Dhaid, Khorfakkan, Dibba Al Hisn, Kalba, Al Madam, Al Hamriyah and Al Batayeh, broadening last year’s film screenings, which were held in five cities only. These venues are in addition to the main screening locations: the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, Novo Cinema at Sahara Center and outdoor venues such as the Sharjah Art Foundation, Al Qasba, and Al Majaz Waterfront.
Several gesture activated games and activities (for example, a photobooth with a green screen and another selfie camera), are available on site are also part of the sideline fun at SICFF. Visitors to the activities area can also find out more about the offerings of the New York Film Academy (NYFA) in Abu Dhabi and can purchase merchandise or donate to support The Big Heart Foundation.
A series of workshops on drawing, animation, creating characters, cartoons, scriptwriting, illustration and special effects are also being held during the festival. The workshops are facilitated by filmmakers and experts in the film industry in the UAE, such as twofour54, NYFA, the Sharjah Art Foundation, Skygate and Al Jalila Center.