‘Go On’ and ‘The Bolt Connection’ Win SIFF’s Best Child & Youth Made Film and Best Student Film Respectively
Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth bids farewell to 7th edition honouring films that won the SIFF competition
Event hosted 120 hours of film screenings, fun activities, renowned filmmakers from the region and the world
Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi: We pledge to continue nurturing young generations with knowledge and expertise in filmmaking and other creative fields.
Sharjah, 19 October, 2019
A galaxy of renowned actors and filmmakers attended the closing ceremony of the seventh edition of the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF), held on Friday evening, October 18, 2019. The six-day cinematic feast featured 120 hours of film screenings, workshops, panel discussions and stage talk sessions – all dedicated to promoting the learning of filmmaking and other media skills among the UAE’s young talents.
Many young filmmakers have been honoured with the SIFF competition awards, which saw fierce competition this year as entries its seven categories to it tripled compared to last year. Hind Al Meel’s ‘Go On’ won the Best Child and Youth Made Film, Mathilde Dourdy’s ‘The Bolt Connection’ scooped the Best Student Film award, while Abduljalil Al Nasser’s ‘Fifty Thousand Photographs’ won the Best GCC Short Film award.
‘Horse’s Stone’, directed by Cynthia Fernandez, won Best International Short Film, and ‘Grandpa Is Hiding’, directed by Anne Huynh bagged the Best Short Animation Film award. ‘Bachir in Wonderland’, directed by Els Duran and Evelien Vehof, was announced the Best Documentary Film, and ‘A First Farewell’, directed by Wang Lina won Best Feature Film.
Themed ‘Films Inspired by Books’, the 7th edition of the event organised by FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts for Youth & Children, ran from 13-18 October 2019, screened 132 films from 39 Arab and foreign countries, including 12 world premieres, 75 Middle East premiers and 7 GCC premiers.
Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and SIFF, said: “We make a pledge to continue nurturing the young generations with knowledge and expertise in filmmaking and other creative fields. We believe that arts are fundamental drivers of community development. This year, we chose to celebrate books through films. Sharjah’s cultural project launched by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has books as the foundation of knowledge, creativity and aesthetics.”
“A story lingers in mind long after a film ends. All 132 films we watched in the past six days have taken us to unique places of imagination, experiences and truth. We have explored world cultures through the creative perspectives of numerous filmmakers representing the Arab and international industries, right here in Sharjah. We showcased stories that will hopefully linger in the memory of young generations and enable them to create Arab films, which will express their hopes and ambition. In us, you have lifelong partners who will guide and support you. ,” she added.
During the closing ceremony, Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi honoured the festival’s jury, which comprised Kuwaiti director Abdul Rahman Al Aqel, Emirati director and executive producer Nahla Al Fahad, Saudi director Ahmad Al Shayeb, Emirati actor, short film maker and author Yaser Al Neyadi, Bahraini young actor and filmmaker Omar Farooq, Emirati actor and director Abdullah Al Junaibi, Japanese filmmakers Michiko Tachimotom and film critic Khalid Rabai.
Nawaf Al Shobaili, author and actor from Saudi Arabia; Dr Naif Al Mutawa, award-winning writer from Kuwait; Mohammad Fikree, an Emirati filmmaker and composer; Carlos De Carvalho, artist, graphic designer and award-winning short films maker from France; Tarek Al Shenawy, film critic and professor of Media Criticism in Cairo University; Nadir Nahdi from UK, founder of BENI channel on YouTube; as well as the junior jury of 31 promising children and youth who were selected and trained by FUNN to judge the Child and Youth Made Films award category, in preparation to become professional jury members in the future, were also honoured by Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi.
The FUNN and SIFF director honoured partners and sponsors, including the Sharjah Media City (Shams) – Gold Sponsor; Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) – Strategic Media Partner; Crescent Enterprises and Gulftainer – Strategic Partners; Emirates Airline and AGMC – Official Carriers; Canon – Official Imaging Partner; Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) – Official Tourism Partner; Sharjah Broadcasting Authority – Media Sponsor.
Sharjah Airport – Bronze Partner; Grand Stores and Flower Lab – Support Sponsors; Nikon and Third Eye – Educational Partners; screening venues including Al Zahia, Last Exit, Cinemacity IMAX, Dubai Festival City, Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre, Zero 6 Mall; and Centro Sharjah Hotel – Hospitality Partner were also honoured.
Volunteering teams from Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), and Qimah Volunteerinh team as well as the group that contributed to FUNN setting a Guinness World Records for holding the largest photography workshop, namely: Canon – Middle East, Abdullah Al Biqashi, AL Shola Private School and Nabdh Al Emarat volunteering team were thanked and awarded for their efforts.
SIFF 2019 organised more than 60 hours of panel discussions, training sessions and workshops that targeted all age groups and addressed filmmaking, photography and illustration, in addition to several specialised workshops, activities and events that targeted youth.