The eighth edition of SIFF will host 48 film premieres, 30 workshops, and panel discussions.
FUNN, the Sharjah-based organisation that promotes media arts learning among children and youth, has announced that the eighth edition of Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth will showcase an array of genres that combine the best of audio-visual storytelling and entertainment and which reflect a rich diversity of voices.
More than 80 narratives of childhood, ranging from animation and shorts to features and documentaries from the region and around the world, will be screened at the eighth edition of the SIFF, scheduled to be held from October 10 – 15.
A selection of films from 38 countries will be up for viewing at SIFF 2021, which takes a fully virtual route this year.
Held under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), and themed, Think Film, the festival also presents a strong and diverse programming agenda encompassing 48 film premieres, 30 workshops in both Arabic and English, seven-panel discussions, awards in seven categories, and more for the young audience.
SIFF 2021, which celebrates cinema from around the world, received a total of 4,284 submissions across seven categories for the years 2020 and 2021. Of the more than 80 movies chosen for screening, 31 are animations; nine are child and youth-made films; seven are documentaries, and eight are feature films. In addition, 13 films each fall under the categories of student and international short films, while six are short films from the GCC.
SIFF will host the premiere of a selection of 48 films by young and emerging passionate storytellers which comprises four films from the UAE, three from the GCC, 35 from the Middle East, and six films representing the unique vision of global filmmakers.
The six-day cultural festival will also host 17 informative and educational workshops for children that touch upon the essentials of panorama and abstract photography, stop motion animation, and animated cartoon sketching. Youth in the UAE and beyond can look forward to 13 workshops that focus on the art of filmmaking, storytelling, and specialised photography, amongst others.
The festival will organise a series of engaging panel discussions that will bring together film-making specialists from the Arab world and beyond. During the sessions, the experts will highlight emerging opportunities in the field that new generations of talented young people can explore and pursue.
On the SIFF jury, this year are 13 acclaimed national, regional and international filmmakers, who will be selecting winners from seven categories. The jurors comprise filmmakers in animation, feature films, and documentaries, and actors and academics. The festival winners will be announced during the closing ceremony on October 15, 2021.
Speaking about the highlights of the film festival, Sheikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and SIFF, said: “As in our past editions, the eighth edition of SIFF promises to bring together some of the most unique and engaging filmmaking from across the UAE and around the world to our diverse audiences. Educating and providing the tools necessary to develop a promising generation of creative young moviemakers and media arts specialists are at the heart of SIFF’s programming agenda. Accordingly, workshops and discussions led by eminent professionals in the industry from across cultures will nurture the creative and filmmaking skills of young talent and enhance their potential.”
She added: “Thanks to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and the continuous support of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), we have reached lovers of cinema and new media arts as well as film and TV professionals from different countries, and we succeeded in forming a lasting friendship with them.”