sharjah art foundation
Sharjah Art Foundation. Image Credit: Supplied

The Sharjah Art Foundation has announced a packed slate of programming for the fourth edition of its annual film festival, Sharjah Film Platform.

Taking place from November 19 to 27, the Sharjah Film Platform will feature in-cinema screenings of more than 50 films, including world and regional premieres. The festival will culminate in an awards presentation.

For those looking to learn from experts, there are free talks and masterclasses with personalities such as Oscar-winning Indian composer AR Rahman, Bafta award winning documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto and filmmaker Mohamed Al Daradji. The event will also feature the second iteration of Industry Hub, that aims to deepen the foundation’s support of film production and distribution. Children’s workshops will offer young ones hands-on experience with filmmaking essentials.

“The annual Sharjah Film Platform plays an increasing critical role in the realisation of our commitment to supporting and presenting the work of emerging filmmakers from the UAE, the MENASA region and beyond. New programmes, such as the Industry Hub, introduced last year, have already helped projects by regional filmmakers into production and we continue to offer grants to support the making of new work,’ said Hoor Al Qasimi, SAF President and Director.

Film screenings

The festival kicks off with the screening of two feature films supported by the Foundation’s Short Film Production Grant: ‘The Myth of Manila’ by 2021 winner Janus Victoria and ‘Notes for a film about Gilgamesh’ (2022), a work in production by 2020 winners Pelin Tan and Anton Vidokle.

This year’s festival also includes two curated programmes: ‘Director in Focus’, highlighting the work of Palestinian director Michel Khleifi, whose films portray the lives of Palestinians from a social and political standpoint, and ‘Her Journey’, presented in partnership with Istanbul Modern, exploring complex, women-centric stories in Turkish cinema through 10 feature-length, documentary and short films.

At the conclusion of the festival, SAF will present awards to outstanding films in the experimental, documentary and narrative categories.

Free talks and masterclasses

Session speakers include filmmakers and industry professionals, including Bafta award–winning documentary filmmaker Kim Longinotto (‘Divorce Iranian Style’, ‘Shooting the Mafia’); Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Co-Director of the Arsenal Institute for Film and Video Art, Berlin; two-time Academy Award and Emmy nominated documentary filmmaker James Longley (‘Angels Are Made of Light’, ‘Iraq in Fragments’, ‘Gaza Strip’); visual artist Basma Al Sharif, who was awarded a Jury Prize at Sharjah Biennial 9 for We Began By Measuring Distance; Jihan El-Tahri, award-winning filmmaker and director of the Berlin-based DOX BOX; two-time Academy Award winner and five-time Academy Award nominated composer AR Rahman (‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘127 Hours’); and filmmaker Mohamed Al Daradji, whose multi-award-winning ‘Son of Babylon’ screened at Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival.

SAF will present the film screenings and talks programme in a hybrid format, while all films will be screened in cinemas at venues across Sharjah. The Foundation’s Collections Building will host workshops for children while an accompanying film will screen at the Flying Saucer building in Dasman.

Don’t miss it!

A limited number of Festival Passes are now available for purchase online, starting from Dh80. Tickets for individual screenings will soon be available online, starting from Dh20.