Dubai: A special movie screening event was recently organised in Sharjah to put film at the heart of children and young people’s learning and cultural experience.
Organised by FUNN — Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children, the Special Effects Event (SFX) aimed at enabling, through the power of films, the younger generation to make an emotional connection and to take home valuable lessons, said a press release.
From home appliances, which are being interviewed, and a pillow, which understands how important home is after it elopes, to a wonky grandfather, who turns garbage to miraculous objects, characters of seven films brought together children from different backgrounds who laughed, cried and experienced the thrill.
Shaikha Aisha Al Mualla, coordinator of Business Development and Production at FUNN, said: “Film watching, understanding and making is a fantastic opportunity, and also a cultural entitlement, which we want to make sure people, especially the youth of the UAE, have access to. Any audio-visual tool, especially film, is very effective and plays a vital role in educating societies. Film is a universal language, and at FUNN, we believe it connects with viewers at the deepest levels.”
She added: “Film has a uniquely powerful presence within human existence. It is a vehicle for conveying culture, education, leisure and propaganda, and many important messages — be it social, spiritual, emotional. Young people have impressionable minds, and through the films we screened, we hoped to capture young imaginations with wonder and thirst for creativity.”
The short films entertained and encouraged young viewers to think creatively, and were a gateway to global film literacy, as the line-up represented cinematic narratives and directors from around the world, the release said.
The six-minute ‘Colourless’ by Emirati director Shahad Al Shehi, is a gentle reminder of our frequent undermining of the privileges we have in life. The 14-minute silent animation ‘Falafel Cart’ by Kuwaiti director Abdullah Al Wazzan sees a falafel cart owner regain his passion for cooking when he stumbles upon a flower that fills his life with the essence of his past.
‘Let’s Play a Story’ by Croatian filmmaker Marina Andree is a seven-minute cinematic rollercoaster in which a bedtime story is changed by its young listener. ‘Imaginapped’ is a film on friendship by US-based director Stian Hafstad. ‘My Strange Grandfather’ by Dina Velikovskaya from Russia; ‘Be the Snow’ by Canadian filmmaker Amir Honarmand; and ‘Takrir’, a fascinating short film by Ghassan Kairouz from Lebanon, in which the most mundane household appliances come to life, were also screened.
Established under the patronage of Shaikha Jawaher Bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and the Ruler of Sharjah in 2012, FUNN aims to nurture a future generation of creative artists in media and film, and promotes new media works and films made by children and young filmmakers of the UAE at international film festivals, and conferences worldwide.