In its second iteration, the film festival screened more than 50 short and feature films by local, regional and international filmmakers in the narrative, documentary and experimental categories.
Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual film festival, Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) concluded its second edition on December 21. During the ceremony, winners of the film festival were announced. The award for Best Narrative Film was given to Far in Night by Syed Maisam Ali Shah for a film that captures the fleeting poetry of ordinary moments.
The Jury Prizes were awarded to Blessed Land by Pham Ngoc Lân for a film with a lyrical rumination on loss and progress and Children of the Lake by Emerson Reyes for its original approach to the need for stewardship in a violent new world.
The award for Best Documentary Film went to Lotus by Mohammadreza Vatandoust for a moving short film that combines great cinematography with poetic storytelling. The Jury Prizes went to two films that deal with forced migration and share a sense of urgency: Shadow by Zeinah al Qahwaji and Otranto by Ionian Bisai and Sotiris Tsiganos.
The award for Best Experimental Film went to That Cloud Never Left by Yashaswini Raghunandan for its hybrid of documentary and fiction. The Dark Cloud by Ndumiso Mnguni was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Experimental Science Fiction Film. Finally, 32-Rbit by Victor Orozco Ramirez was awarded the Jury Prize for Best Experimental Animation for a hallucinatory vision of reinventing our Internet reality and dark humour.
HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah, attended the ceremony.
Commenting on the film festival, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, said: “Sharjah Film Platform is our initiative to engage with filmmakers, critics and industry experts familiar with the latest developments and current challenges in the field while also bringing together a wide range of like-minded regional and international audiences to enjoy the event.”
An internationally renowned jury of filmmakers and film industry professionals selected the winners. In addition to film screenings, the festival included a series of talks and panel discussions by leading moving image artists, directors, filmmakers and film industry professionals as well as workshops that focused on film criticism, acting and improvisation.