Sharjah: Over 130 films from 39 countries will be screened at the seventh edition of the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) 2019, which kicks off on Sunday at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.

The event will run from October 13-18, and is organised by FUNN, the Sharjah Media Arts For Youth and Children.

This year’s edition of the festival will host Arab and international film stars and filmmakers, including Kuwaiti actor Abdul Rahman El Aqel; Syrian actor Bassel Khayat; Saudi actor Abdulmohsen Al Nemer; Emirati poet and director Nujoom Al Ghanem; Emirati actor and director Abdullah Al Junaibi; Emirati filmmaker Nahla Al Fahad, Egyptian filmmaker and film critic Yousry Nasrallah; Canadian director Julian Carrington; and Saudi actor Abdullah Ali who starred in the Spain-UK production ‘Born A King’, based on the life of King Faisal Al-Saud.

The theme of this this edition of SIFF is ‘Films Inspired by Books’ in celebration of Sharjah being named World Book Capital 2019.

SIFF 2019 received 1,454 entries from 86 countries, a three-fold increase compared to the previous year, from which 132 being shown were chosen to be screened. Of these, 12 films will have their world premieres at SIFF, while 75 are being shown for the first time in the Middle East, and seven in the Gulf Region. The seven categories are: Best Student-made Film, Best GCC Short Film, Best International Short Film, Best Animation Film, Best Documentary Film and Best Feature Film and Best Child- and Youth-made Film.

Shaikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and SIFF, said: “Every year the festival seeks to provide families, children and youth with an international platform to enrich their knowledge of the latest technologies in the arts and give them a ringside view of the fascinating world of filmmaking. She called on youth to participate in the festival and use this platform to express their creativity and values in a competitive and interactive environment.