Sun Children
Sun Children Image Credit: IMDB

If you needed an excuse to head outdoors, the chance to catch a free screening at Sharjah’s outdoor cinema is just the incentive needed.

Sharjah Art Foundation will feature outdoor screenings as part of its Spring Film Series, running from February 19 to March 26 at the Mirage City Cinema in Al Mureijah Art Spaces in the emirate.

Award-winning and new feature-length films will be screened, bringing diverse stories with protagonists determined to survive and coexist within particular social and political dilemmas.

The screenings are free to attend; however, prior online registration is required through the foundation’s website to maintain social distancing protocols.

The Unknown Saint (Arabic with English subtitles)

February 19, 8.30pm-10.10pm

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Image Credit: IMDB

Directed by Alaa Eddine Aljem, the film is a satirical perspective on rural Moroccan society and follows the story of Amine, a thief who returns to the spot where he buried his loot years after he is released from prison. While retrieving the bag, he finds that a mausoleum honouring an unknown saint now covers the site and a new village subsists on the pilgrims who travel from far and wide to visit the mausoleum. Amine settles into the village and begins plotting a way in. The film was Morocco’s entry as Best International Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards.

The Milkmaid (Hausa with Arabic and English subtitles)

March 5, 8.30pm-10.45pm

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The Milkmaid Image Credit: IMDB

A political drama directed by Desmond Ovbiagele, the film explores the harsh reality of sub-Saharan conflict and tells the story of Aisha, a Fulani milkmaid who is forced by personal circumstances to approach religious militants in search of her younger sister. Aisha soon finds herself in a world where seething conflict provides several paths to becoming a victim with typically irreversible consequences. The film was selected as the Nigerian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Sun Children (Farsi with Arabic and English subtitles)

March 26, 8.30pm-10pm

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Sun Children Image Credit: Venice Film Festival

A feature-length drama directed by the award-winning Majid Majidi, ‘Sun Children’ follows 12-year-old Ali and his friends, a gang of street children living in Tehran, as they attempt to support their families by doing odd jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make easy money. In a turn of events that seems miraculous, Ali is entrusted to find hidden treasure underground. He recruits his gang, but to gain access to the tunnel, the children must enrol at the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child labourers.

Rouhollah Zamani received the Best Young Actor award at the 2020 Venice Film Festival for his performance in the film. ‘Sun Children’ is the official Iranian submission for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.