Albion: The Rise of The Danann Image Credit: Rod Millington

Seven films by award-winning directors from around the world will have their regional premieres this year at the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF).

The Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children earlier confirmed 124 films from 31 countries would screen at SICFF 2017, which will run from October 8 to 13 at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC).

The films feature a mix of themes including stories about families, war, identity, friendship, dreams and social dilemmas, with the common thread that they are ultimately uplifting as children overcome harsh issues in times of trouble.

Castille Landon’s Albion: The Enchanted Stallion, which is the opening movie of SICFF, tells the story of Ivy, a teenage girl who is transported by a magical black stallion to the mystical world of Albion, where she discovers that she alone is the key to saving an entire race of people. Starring John Cleese, Debra Messing, Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Dorf, the film has already received good reviews.

At 26 years-old, Landon is the youngest director to screen a premiere at the 2017 festival. Albion: The Enchanted Stallion was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for the Best Feature Film at EQUUS Film Festival in New York.

In The Day my Father Became a Bush, a 10-year-old girl is sent to live with her grandparents after her father is suddenly called away to defend his country.

The story then follows her journey to find her mother. Directed by Nicole van Kilsdonk has previously made documentaries and TV films before making features including Hondje, Polonaise and Dining, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2004.

Stefan Jager’s film, Big and Little, tells the tale of a man unhappy with his life and uncertain of his goals who travels from his native Switzerland to the Far East with a Japanese boy who helps him to rediscover his life, overcome his loneliness and find new perspectives. Among many other accolades, Jager has won the Best Swiss TV Screenplay Award and the Audience and Best Screenplay Awards at the Saarbrucken Film Festival.

The other films are Window Horses, At Eye Level, Ballad from Tibet, and The Little Vampire, among others. A full list of films and schedule of screening is available on the festival’s website.