Sharjah Film Platform is an annual festival organised by Sharjah Art Foundation to support the growing film scene in the UAE by celebrating and sustaining the work of local, regional and international filmmakers. The fourth edition, running from 19 to 27 November 2021, features a core film programme of over 50 short and feature-length films in the narrative, documentary and experimental genres, selected through an open call. The festival also includes a public programme of talks and workshops led by renowned filmmakers and the SFP Industry Hub, an industry-focused professional programme that supports the creation and production of films. Sharjah Film Platform 4 (SFP4) will include the premiere of The Myth of Manila (2021) by Janus Victoria as well as Pelin Tan and Anton Vidokle’s work in progress, Notes for a film about Gilgamesh (2021), both of which were supported by SFP Short Film Production Grants.
Film screening programme
This year’s film screening programme features more than 50 films by emerging and established filmmakers from around the world. Taking place on-site and online, the screenings include award-winning festival favourites as well as the premieres of diverse cinematic works. A jury of distinguished directors, filmmakers and critics will present awards in the Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Experimental categories to films submitted through the open call as well as first and second time filmmakers.
SFP4 features a special segment focusing on the work of renowned Palestinian filmmaker Michel Khleifi whose films portray the lives of Palestinians from a social and political standpoint under Israeli occupation. ‘Director in Focus’ includes Wedding in Galilee (1987), The Tale of Three Lost Jewels (1995) and Zindeeq (2009). Khleifi has won many awards for his films, including the FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes Film Festival (1987); Golden Seashell, San Sebastián International Film Festival (1987); Golden Butterfly in Isfahan International Festival of Films for Children and Young Adults (1995); and the Muhr Arab Award at Dubai International Film Festival (2009).
In collaboration with Istanbul Modern, the screening programme also includes a section titled ‘Her Journey’, which will present 10 films from Turkey focusing on women’s subjectivities that are fragmentary, multiple, contradictory and in constant flux. Highlighting both the diversity and intersectionality of identities, these women-centric stories—three feature-length films, two documentaries and five shorts—give us memorable characters that shimmer with life and passion, while reflecting historical and cultural pressures. Exploring various representations of female subjectivity and even suggesting provocative models of cinematic resistance, ‘Her Journey’, curated by Müge Turan, Head of the Film Programme, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, proves that the feminist motto, ‘the personal is political’ holds true.
Talks and workshops
A range of public talks and workshops will take place throughout the festival in parallel with the film screening programme. Led by acclaimed filmmakers and industry professionals, the panel discussions and conversations will be available in a hybrid online and on-site format. The programme also includes engaging and educational workshops as well as short courses designed especially for children.
Taking place from 21 to 25 November 2021, the Learning Programme for Children and Families offers an introduction to filmmaking, designed for participants aged 6 to 15 and their families. The sessions will explore various aspects of filmmaking, such as screenwriting, storyboarding, lighting, filming and production. These sessions will be held at Collections Building in Arts Square, Sharjah. In addition to this, the live-action film, Glassboy (2020) will screen in Sharjah Art Foundation’s iconic venue The Flying Saucer in Dasman.
The SFP Industry Hub expands the film festival’s mission to support and nurture filmmaking talent both regionally and internationally. This programme offers filmmakers opportunities to develop current and future projects, and to receive production funding and vital distribution support for completed films.
A limited number of Festival Passes and tickets to individual screenings are now available for purchase online. The Festival Pass–Cinemas and Online gives one person an all-access pass to all the festival’s screenings. The Festival Pass–Online allows you to enjoy a selection of the SFP4 film screenings on the festival’s online platform.
The festival also presents online and on-site talks and masterclasses for adults, filmmaking workshops for children and much more. Talks and workshops can be accessed through our virtual platform and are free to attend, however, prior registration is required.
Festival Pass–Cinemas and Online (120 AED): Provides access to all screenings in cinemas and online.
Festival Pass–Online (80 AED): Provides access to all online screenings.
A selection of the festival’s programme will stream online*
Tickets for individual screenings are available for purchase online.
General Admission (30 AED)
Students (20 AED)
Single Screening–Online (20 AED)
Festival Box Offices: Sharjah Art Foundation Information Centre, Al Mureijah Art Spaces
Saturday to Thursday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Friday from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
*Please ensure you read the terms and conditions below which have important details related to your purchase*
Terms and Conditions
Please note that purchase of your Festival Pass and Tickets implies agreement with the below:
- Festival Pass–Online and in Cinemas and Festival Pass–Online admit one to each screening and are non-transferable.
- Pass holders must show their IDs to access the screening.
- Ticket purchases are final and non-refundable.
- Students must present valid student IDs at venues to activate their student tickets.
- Online Screenings: A selection of films from the programme will be available to stream on demand the day after they are screened in cinemas until 27 November 2021.
- Online Screenings: Access to the films are contingent on availability in your country/region.
Sharjah Film Platform 4 Safety Rules and Regulations
To safeguard the health of our visitors and staff, the following rules, in line with Sharjah Health Authority regulations, will be instituted at all screening venues during Sharjah Film Platform 4:
· Viewer capacity inside the venues will be limited to ensure adherence to recommended social distancing rules.
· Cinema seating will be arranged to ensure social distancing is maintained throughout the festival screenings.
· Visitors to Sharjah Film Platform 4 are required to wear masks at all times at the screening venues and during film screenings.
· Visitors should maintain a safe distance from others at all times.
· Hand sanitisers and other sanitisation products will be available at all venue entrances.
· These health and safety rules are subject to change in line with any modifications to Sharjah Government regulations and policies.
Sharjah Film Platform is an annual Sharjah Art Foundation film festival launched in 2018 to advance film production in the United Arab Emirates and the surrounding region. The festival continues the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to film programming and the support of established and aspiring filmmakers.
Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) offers a programme of talks on cinema and artists’ moving image as well as sessions addressing current debates in the film industry. A programme of workshops for children and families aims to teach children about the various aspects of filmmaking, such as screenwriting, storyboarding, lighting, filming and production.