Sharjah Art Foundation presents outdoor film screenings as part of the Spring Film Series, running from 19 February to 26 March 2021. Featuring award-winning and new feature-length films exploring notions of passion, ambition and determination, the programme presents diverse stories with protagonists determined to survive and co-exist within particular social and political dilemmas. The programme includes The Unknown Saint (2019), The Milkmaid (2020) and Sun Children (2020); films that have been submitted as the Best International Feature entries at the 93rd Academy Awards (2021) by their respective countries. The film screenings take place in the Foundation’s open-air contemporary theatre Mirage City Cinema in Al Mureijah Art Spaces.
See below for a detailed programme:
Friday, 19 February 2021
The Unknown Saint (2019)
Director: Alaa Eddine Aljem
Narrative | 100 minutes
Arabic with English subtitles
A feature-length narrative film directed by Alaa Eddine Aljem, The Unknown Saint is a satirical perspective on rural Moroccan society and follows the story of Amine, a thief who returns to the spot where he buried his loot years after he is released from prison. Upon his return to retrieve the bag, he finds that a mausoleum honouring an unknown saint now covers the site and a new village subsists on the pilgrims who travel from far and wide to visit the mausoleum. Amine settles into the village and begins plotting a way in. The Unknown Saint is Morocco’s entry for Best International Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Friday, 5 March 2021
The Milkmaid (2020)
Director: Desmond Ovbiagele
Narrative | 136 minutes
Hausa with Arabic and English subtitles
A political drama directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, The Milkmaid explores the harsh reality of sub-Saharan conflict and tells the story of Aisha, a Fulani milkmaid who is forced by personal circumstances to approach religious militants in search of her younger sister. However, her quest to recapture her blithe past proves to be unexpectedly complicated. Aisha falls into a world where seething conflict provides several paths to becoming a victim with typically irreversible consequences.
The film was selected as the Nigerian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards. At the 2020 Africa Movie Academy Awards, The Milkmaid was nominated for eight awards and won Best Film, Best Film in an African Language, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Makeup and Best Nigerian Film.
Friday, 26 March 2021
Sun Children (2020)
Director: Majid Majidi
Narrative | 99 minutes
Farsi with Arabic and English subtitles
A feature-length drama directed by Majid Majidi, Sun Children follows 12-year-old Ali and his friends, a gang of mischievous street children living in bustling Tehran, as they attempt to support their families by doing odd jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make easy money. In a turn of events that seems miraculous, Ali is entrusted to find hidden treasure underground. He recruits his gang, but to gain access to the tunnel, the children must enroll at the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child labourers, close to where the treasure is located.
Rouhollah Zamani received Best Young Actor award at the 2020 Venice Film Festival for his performance in the film. Sun Children is the official Iranian submission for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.
These film screenings take place in Mirage City Cinema, Sharjah Art Foundation’s outdoor theatre that is home to a year-round film programme as well as a venue for performances and concerts that enrich cultural life in Sharjah.
The screenings are free to attend; however, prior online registration is required for the safety of the community. Book tickets here.
For more information, visit sharjahart.org.
About Sharjah Art Foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the Foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The Foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications.
Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the Foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional and international developments in contemporary art. The Foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and learning programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres. A growing collection reflects the Foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world.
Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors and individual patrons. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.
Sharjah is the third largest of the seven United Arab Emirates and the only one bridging the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. Reflecting the deep commitment to the arts, architectural preservation and cultural education embraced by its ruler, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Sharjah is home to more than 20 museums and has long been known as the cultural hub of the United Arab Emirates. It was named UNESCO's Arab Capital of Culture in 1998 and the UNESCO World Book Capital in 2019.
Alyazeyah Al Reyaysa