Image Caption:

SFP5 Short Film Production Grant awardee Ali Mehdi on the set of In Zainab’s Heaven (2023). Image courtesy of Ali Mehdi


Sharjah Art Foundation invites local and international filmmakers to apply for the seventh edition of the Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) Short Film Production Grant. Offered in conjunction with SFP—the Foundation’s annual festival of independent cinema and moving image—the grant provides funds for the completion of short films that test the boundaries of contemporary filmmaking. Grant recipients will premiere their completed films at a future edition of SFP.

The Short Film Production Grant is open to all independent filmmakers without restrictions of age, region or genre. For the purpose of this grant, a short film is defined as a work with a total runtime of 50 minutes or less, including the credits.

The recipients will share a total of 120,000 AED (approximately 30,000 USD); the monetary amount and the number of awardees will be determined on an as-needed basis. The deadline to submit the application is 11:59 pm UAE time (GMT +4) on 24 June 2024.

New this year, one Emirati awardee will receive funding through a partnership between Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the Foundation. Created to enhance independent Emirati cinema, this initiative offers 25,000 AED to an Emirati filmmaker jointly selected by the two institutions. Conditions, requirements and the deadline for Emirati applicants are identical to those for other applicants.

Applicants are required to submit a recorded three-minute pitch (see application information below), through which they will be assessed on the overall vision for their film, including genre, theme, structure and plot; the originality of their script; and their creative and technical skills.

For more information about previous Sharjah Film Platforms, please click here.

Past recipients

SFP6 Grant
Asim Abdulaziz, I Broke a Vase (2024); Erin Nene-Lee Ramirez, St. Andrews (2024), Judy Kibinge, GOAT (2024)

SFP5 Grant
Adrijan Assoufi, Running in Babylon (2023); Mohammed Jassim, Bar Saar (2023); Prapat Jiwarangsan, Myanmar Anatomy (2023); Ali Mehdi, In Zainab's Heaven (2023); and Wok the Rock, Sa Pu Wisisi (2023)

SFP4 Grant
Janus Victoria, Myth of Manila (2021); Randa Maroufi, L'mina (2022); and Mariam Alserkal and Maaria Sayed, Unveiling Selma (2022)

SFP3 Grant
Soha Shukayr, Once Upon a Revolution (2020); and Pelin Tan and Anton Vidokle, She Who Saw the Deep (2021)

SFP2 Grant
Julian Alexander, Laila, at Last (2019) and Emerson Reyes, Children of the Lake (2019)

SFP1 Grant
Mohammed Al Hammadi, Maryam (2019); Abdulrahman Al Madani, Laymoon (2019); and Faisal Attrache, From the Mountain (2019)

Application requirements

Complete the application form here, and attach a three-minute pitch (with Vimeo/YouTube link), original script, budget plan and production schedule where prompted in the application form. Please note that failure to submit all the required materials will result in automatic disqualification.

Only one application is permitted per director.

Any application received after 11:59 pm UAE time (GMT +4) on 24 June 2024 will not be considered.

Submission link

To apply, please complete your application here.


Who can apply for the Short Film Production Grant?
This is an international open call; filmmakers based anywhere in the world can submit an application. 

What is the maximum Short Film Production Grant amount allocated to an individual project?
A total of 120,000 AED will be distributed among awardees. The number of awardees varies each year. An additional 25,000 AED will be dedicated to one Emirati filmmaker.

What is the submission deadline for the film grant application?
The final submission date is 11:59 pm UAE time (GMT +4) on 24 June 2024. Any submissions received after this time will be automatically rejected.

What do I need to submit?

• Completed application form
• Original script
• Production schedule

• Three-minute pitch
• Budget

What is the maximum film/script length permitted?
The final film must not exceed 50 minutes with credits (around 50 pages).

In what language(s) should the script be written?
For the application process, the script must be in either English or Arabic.

Should the film also be in Arabic and/or English?
The final film can be in any language; however, it must include Arabic and English subtitles.

What do I need to include in the production schedule?
Applicants are asked to present a workable schedule and realistic deadlines for production and postproduction. They should allow sufficient time for filming and postproduction in order to premiere their film at Sharjah Film Platform in autumn 2025.

What is the purpose of the three-minute pitch?
The three-minute film pitch will be used to gain a clear understanding of the film’s premise and the director’s vision. During the pitch, applicants may simply speak to the camera, share a trailer or compilation of previous works, or present any other material that clearly conveys the most important features of the film.

What information should be included in my budget, and how should I allocate the grant money?
Applicants must detail projected expenses for all stages of production. They should also indicate how much grant money would be needed and show how the requested amount would be allocated. Grant money should normally be used for the production and postproduction stages and fee-based activities such as filming, editing, music production, image and sound licensing, translation and subtitling.

Can I apply with multiple films?
No, applicants may apply with only one film per director. In the case of multiple entries, only the first submission will be considered, and subsequent submissions will be automatically disqualified.

We are a collective of two (or more) members. How do we ensure that all of our names and biographical data are included in the application?
We advise collectives to apply under the name of their collective and include a biography of the collective in the application form. Choose one member as a legal representative who will be the main point of contact in case of a successful application.

Who owns the rights to my Short Film Production Grant film?
The copyright of all aesthetic and intellectual content as well as distribution rights will remain with the applicant. If the grant is awarded, the recipient agrees to acknowledge Sharjah Art Foundation’s support in the film’s opening and closing credits and whenever possible in communication. In the case of the Emirati filmmaker track, both ADMAF and Sharjah Art Foundation should be credited.

I would like to apply with a film that has been screened before. Am I still eligible to apply?
No, only unfinished works are eligible for this grant. Completed films may be submitted to the Sharjah Film Platform Open Call instead.

When will the results of the grant be announced?
Results will be communicated to all applicants in the last day of SFP7.


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