His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, will open the second edition of the Sharjah International Children Film Festival on Sunday 19 October at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
Running until 24 October, the festival represents a great opportunity to unlock, nurture and promote young talent and creativity, grow their awareness and develop their abilities. It also enables professionals in the film industry to gain a deeper insight into children’s cinematic vision, with support from FUNN organisation, which is dedicated to promoting media arts for children and young people in Sharjah and the UAE in general.
This year's edition will showcase many films by local and regional filmmakers, as well by internationally acclaimed filmmakers, in addition to films from Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Far East.
The festival will exhibit a rich selection of films that reflect cultural diversity, the distinct and multiple interests of their creators and audiences, and the aesthetics of the seventh art.
It aims to nurture young talent and creative thinking, giving young people the chance to have their films shown at local, regional and international festivals, and motivating them to develop their talents and abilities and pursue their dreams in all forms of media arts.
The six-day festival will be showing 112 films from 35 countries – a remarkable increase against the number of participating films in last year's edition, which saw the screening of 78 films from 32 countries.
The festival allows government school students to watch film screenings, which will take place at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre in the morning, while private school students can enjoy films screened at Novo Cinemas in Sahara Centre. The audience can watch films in both venues the afternoon on a daily basis.
During the opening ceremony, His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, will honour the winners of the Children's Film Competition, which covers five categories: the best short film, best feature film, best animated film, best documentary, and best child-made film.
The winners will receive the festival's trophy. The film competition is a new event added to this year's edition.
The festival represents a new start for the children's cinema industry in the Middle East, focusing on high quality cinema that presents influential ideas and content, produced using outstanding cinema practices, to motivate young, talented people to pursue their dreams in the art world. It also aims to encourage established film-makers to produce high quality films which tackle issues that support children's causes in the Arab World and beyond.