Reflecting the growing importance of film in its work, Sharjah Art Foundation has organised the inaugural edition of Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), an annual programme that supports film production in the United Arab Emirates and the region and provides a critical platform for both established and aspiring filmmakers. SFP has three main components: a curated film programme and award; a programme of talks, workshops and discussions; and a production grant for short films.
In its first edition, SFP will present over 140 films from more than 40 countries. Selected from an open call, the films include both shorts and features in the documentary, narrative and experimental categories. A number of these films will have their premieres at the festival. Among the premieres are the two films by the SFP grant awardees, which will be screened on the opening night.
Also included in the SFP screenings are three films directed by Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine, which will be shown in collaboration with The Africa Institute to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the director’s passing. Programmed by Dr Salah M. Hassan and Hind Mezaina, these films will be screened in three separate programmes.
In conjunction with the film screenings, a public programme of talks and workshops on both conceptual and practical topics will offer opportunities to examine pertinent and pressing issues within the film industry. Led by Emirati filmmakers and practitioners along with regional and international speakers, sessions will touch on postcolonialism, nation-building, representation and new technologies as well as intersections between film and contemporary art. The public programme will also feature useful discussions and workshops on administrative aspects of film production such as distribution, funding and legal matters.
• Mirage City Cinema, Al Mureijah Square
• Al Hamra Cinema, Rolla
• Sharjah Institute of Theatrical Arts, Al Mureijah
• Africa Hall, Al Manakh