Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) is an annual festival of independent cinema, documentary filmmaking and moving image where audiences can discover new approaches to film and art. The ten-day event—which includes a range of regional and international films, talks by filmmakers and industry professionals, musical concerts and mixers—is centred around Mirage City Cinema (MCC), the open-air theatre in Sharjah’s historical quarter.
SFP5 includes Payal Kapadia’s documentary A Night of Knowing Nothing (2021), which won the Golden Eye at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, and Memoria (2021) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (who co-designed MCC for Sharjah Biennial 11), which stars Tilda Swinton and won the 2021 Cannes Film Festival Jury Award. The Director in Focus section will honour the late Tunisian film director Moufida Tlatli with the screening of three of her films: The Silence of the Palace (1994), The Season of Men (2000) and Nadia et Sarra (2004). In a collaborative initiative with the US Mission to the UAE, SFP5 will also present diverse perspectives from the United States, including Cherien Dabis’s film Amreeka (2009). In addition, this year’s festival will screen more than 25 films in three categories (narrative, documentary and experimental) shortlisted through an international open call that reflect new voices in independent cinema.
To celebrate the opening of SFP5, Amal Waqar Quartet, an all-female instrumental ensemble comprised of Amal Waqar (oud), Lamam Kassem (percussion), Rachelle Ghanem (bass) and Fatine Garti (Arabic violin), will perform on 21 October in Hamdan Bin Mousa Courtyard. A networking mixer featuring a live set by DJ Almo١٠٠ for professionals and cinephiles will take place on 29 October.
This year’s programme of in-person talks, panel discussions and conversations, titled Alt Lens: Hi(stories) and Voices from the Borderline, will take place on 22, 23 and 28 October 2022 in Gallery 4, Al Mureijah Art Spaces. SFP5’s talks programme is held in partnership with the US Mission to the UAE and the Division of Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi, as part of American Film Week.
Geared towards industry professionals, SFP Industry Hub consists of the Pitching Forum, a feature scriptwriting competition with an open call; Script Lab, a professional scriptwriting course; and an annual initiative to support regional and international film distribution. The Pitching Forum is supported by Sharjah Media City (SHAMS), and this year’s film circulation initiative is held in partnership with Network of Alternative Arab Screens (NAAS).
Select films, chosen by an external jury of filmmakers, critics and producers, will receive the Sharjah Film Platform Awards for Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Experimental, to be announced on the last day of the festival. This year’s jury includes Talal Afifi (Director, Sudan Film Factory), Maryam Kashani (Filmmaker and Assistant Professor in Asian American Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Deepika Suseelan (Artistic Director, International Film Festival of Kerala), Laila Aoudj (Co-founder, Dima Cinema), Hanna Atallah (Founder and Artistic Director, Filmlab Palestine), Kais Zaied (CineMadart), Darine Hotait (Filmmaker) and Hind Mezaina (Film Curator).
Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, SFP foregrounds recent cinematic achievements by international filmmakers and artists, noteworthy classics from around the region and experimental films that challenge the idea of what film practice is today. The fifth edition of the festival takes place from 21 to 30 October 2022 at Mirage City Cinema, Sharjah Institute of Theatrical Arts, and Gallery 4 of Al Mureijah Art Spaces.
SFP5 Talks Programme
In partnership with the U.S. Mission to the UAE and the Division of Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) offers a programme of talks that address alternative and marginalised voices and stories in cinema and artists’ moving image, as well as sessions addressing current debates in the film industry. This programme is titled Alt Lens: Hi(stories) and Voices from the Borderline and is part of American Film Week.
SFP5 Industry Hub
Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual film festival, Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), returns for its fifth edition from 21 to 30 October 2022. In addition to presenting a rich programme of film screenings and talks, Sharjah Film Platform also includes the Industry Hub. Geared towards industry professionals, SFP Industry Hub consists of the Pitching Forum, a feature scriptwriting competition with an open call; Script Lab, a professional scriptwriting course; and an annual initiative to support regional and international film circulation. The Pitching Forum is supported by Sharjah Media City (SHAMS) and this year’s film circulation initiative is held in partnership with Network of Alternative Arab Screens (NAAS).