Programme 1

Sharjah Film Platform annually awards Short Film Production Grants in support of film production in the UAE and internationally. Selected through an open call, this year’s grant winners are Abdulrahman Al Madani and Mohammed Al Hammadi, whose films Laymoon and Maryam, respectively, will be premiered at the festival. Al Madani and Al Hammadi will discuss their films after the screenings on opening night.

Laymoon (2019)
Director: Abdulrahman Al Madani
United Arab Emirates
Narrative | 16 min
Arabic with English subtitles

A neglected housewife’s constant attempts to regain her short-tempered husband’s interest in their marriage prove futile. Influenced by her best friend, she realises her efforts need to stretch beyond a wholesome meal.

Abdulrahman Al Madani started making films in 2012, focusing particularly on social issues. His first documentary short, The Gamboo3a Revolution (2012), won awards from the Gulf Film Festival and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and he also directed the two short films Guilt (2013) and Nagafa (2014). He received a bachelor's degree in applied media studies from the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai (2014) and completed a one-year filmmaking diploma programme at the New York Film Academy Abu Dhabi (2015). His thesis film, Beshkara, received its world premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival the same year. Al Madani was born in 1992 in Dubai, where he currently lives and works.

Maryam (2019)
Director: Mohammed Al Hammadi
United Arab Emirates
Narrative | 22 min
Arabic with English subtitles

An ambitious young Emirati’s dream to pursue an acting career in New York is challenged by the sudden death of her father and the opposition of her mother, who wants her to marry.

Mohammed Al Hammadi is an Emirati filmmaker with a background in directing, writing, acting and producing. He participated in theatre courses at the Sharjah Art Institute (2013–2014) and made his cinematic acting debut in the feature film Abdulla in 2015. He then travelled to Los Angeles to develop his filmmaking skills further at the New York Film Academy (2015–2016). After his return to the UAE, he wrote, directed and produced his sci-fi film The Remaining Time, which had its world premiere in the Muhr Emirati category at the 2017 Dubai International Film Festival. He had an acting role in the feature film Musk, released at the end of 2018. Al Hammadi was born in 1989 in Dubai, where he currently lives and works.