The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth will take place from October 10 until 15 Image Credit: Supplied

More than 80 narratives of childhood, ranging from animation and shorts to features and documentaries from the region and around the world, will be screened at the upcoming eighth edition of the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF), which is scheduled to be held from October 10 to 15.

FUNN, the Sharjah-based organisation that promotes media arts learning among children and youth, has announced that the 2021 edition of SIFF will showcase an array of genres that will combine audio-visual storytelling and entertainment, and which reflect a rich diversity of voices.

A selection of films from 38 countries will be up for viewing at SIFF 2021, which takes a fully virtual route this year.

Held under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), and themed, ‘Think Film’, the festival will also feature 48 film premieres, 30 workshops in both Arabic and English, seven panel discussions, awards in seven categories, and much more for the young audience.

SIFF 2021 received a total of 4,284 submissions across seven categories for the years 2020 and 2021. Of the 80 movies chosen for screening, 31 are animations; nine are child and youth-made films; seven are documentaries; and eight are feature films. In addition, 13 films each fall under the categories of student and international short films, while 6 are short films from the GCC.

SIFF 2021 will host the premiere of a selection of 48 films by young and emerging storytellers which comprises four films from the UAE, three from the GCC, 35 from the Middle East, and six films representing the vision of global filmmakers.

The six-day cultural festival will also host 17 informative and educational workshops for children that touch upon the essentials of panorama and abstract photography, stop motion animation, and animated cartoon sketching. Youth in the UAE and beyond can look forward to 13 workshops that focus on the art of filmmaking, storytelling, and specialised photography, amongst others.

The festival will also organise a series of panel discussions that will bring together film-making specialists from the Arab world and beyond. During the sessions, the experts will highlight emerging opportunities in the field that new generations of talented young people can explore and pursue.

On the SIFF jury this year are 13 acclaimed national, regional and international filmmakers, who will be selecting winners from seven categories. The jurors comprise filmmakers in animation, feature films, and documentaries, and actors and academics. The festival winners will be announced during the closing ceremony on October 15.

For more information on the festival activities and the registrations process, please visit the SIFF website.