Sharjah The fifth anniversary celebrations of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF 2017) commenced on Thursday evening with a five-tier cinema-themed chocolate cake, a large turnout of young film enthusiasts, animation’s favourite characters, social media influencers, and Hollywood’s wonder boy, Jacob Tremblay.
Organised on the last day of the film festival, the colourful celebrations made a visual spectacle especially for the younger ones in attendance. Arranged in SICFF’s workshops and activity area, the proceedings of the evening began with cutting of the cake, and a few words by the festival organisers as the attendees enjoyed their share.
“This is a celebration to mark five years of success, and God-willing we will see more in the years to come. The fifth edition saw many firsts including the children jurors, specialised workshops in media arts and filmmaking, Hollywood actors, and luminaries from the UAE and the Arab region, specialists from Disney Studios, and more. We are delighted to witness the fifth edition’s success, and the festival growing popularity at home and abroad. I would like to tell everyone to stay tuned to our future announcements as the next edition will be full of bigger and better surprises,” said Shaikha Aisha Fahad Al Mulla, Coordinator of Business Development and Production at FUNN (Sharjah Media Arts For Youth and Children).
Children also got the chance to interact with their favourite Disney characters at the film festival.
Also in attendance was one of UAE’s most loved social media influencers, Khalid Al Ameri, enjoying the festival and promoting it to his 113,000-follower base. He said: “When I was a kid I wanted to be an actor. But growing up, that wasn’t really an option because our generation hardly had access to any avenues of information in acting and filmmaking. That world was unknown. So, what is so amazing about what Shaikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Director of SICFF, and her team are doing is that they are giving families and children an insight into this world. They are taking away that fear of the unknown, and tackling it in a way that makes it clear to children that they can have a thriving career in cinema and the media arts.”
This year, SICFF hosted 70 directors and filmmakers from around the world. US led the programme with 45 films, followed by the UAE with 33 films and then France with 29 films. Alongside the movie screenings, 50 training workshops covering an array of topics on cinema and the visual arts were also held through the five days of the festival. The organisers plan to continue these at other locations in Sharjah until November 16.