To enable children and youth to cherish and enjoy films, and stimulate their love of cinema as they remain safe indoors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFF) has introduced a new selection of films for families to enjoy on its popular ‘Our Home Cinema’ online film platform.
In addition, from June 10-July 10, a range of child-made films will be screened in a specially curated themed film programme. A majority of these child-made short films have been produced during or following various filmmaking and media arts workshops organised by FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts For Children & Youth.
Some of the films that will be showcased on www.siff.ae and produced by FUNN students in the UAE includes Cinema, a short comedy about a wife who forces her husband to go with her to the cinema; the three-minute A Silent Memory, providing insight into the nature of real bliss; and Go On, a heartwarming silent movie dedicated to turning dreams into reality; and I Am a Man, that reflects on a young boy’s transition from teen to adulthood.
Mr. Horse, narrating the travails of an ex-showjumping star; Imaginary Friend, that pays tribute to the silent film era; Once Upon a Dream, that merges dreams and fantasy with reality; and The Quarrel, showcasing a small episode in sibling rivalry; are among the prominent collaborative efforts showcased by FUNN students.
Amongst the documentaries produced by students at FUNN workshops include The Other Neighbourhood, a sensitive portrayal of the life of the inhabitants in an underprivileged neighbourhood; and We’re Still Here, a nostalgic look at the old days as remembered by older generation Emiratis.
The consequences of good and evil are brought to the fore in Tayyar Al Haya, directed by Marwan Al Naqabi, a member of Sharjah Youth Centre – Khorfakkan while award-winning Omani director, Muzna Al-Musafer, explores the tender bonds shared by a young girl and her grandmother in Dana and I: Our Journey with the Goats.
Other UAE films include Nozad, a short biopic of Nozad Jaadan, a Syrian writer and poet; and Childhood’s Wish, which explores the theatrical experiences of Saudi director and actor, Rashid Al Warthan, and his success in working with children.
A young New Zealand director takes viewers through the great mysteries that lurk in the sights boxed out from our view in An Homage, and from Australia, an 18-year-old director explores the concept of ‘when one door closes, another opens’ in Locked Out while another young talent invites the audience to question reality as seen before our eyes in The Station.
In The Masterpiece from the USA, viewers are taken on a thrilling journey into theft and forgery in the world of art. Will to Live, also from the US, is set in the war times of the 1940s while Slovenian short film, Lost, narrates the tale of a young man’s resistance to facing his internal fears.
Amongst the selection of movies from India are Braces, a short animation that delves into the feelings of a young girl on wearing braces; Fatso, that focuses on the ordeal of being body conscious; and I Am Beautiful, also, a film that explores body image issues.
Movies from Belgium include Little Markus, that narrates the tale of a small child; The World Upside Down, a futuristic tale set in 2080; and A Day Like Any Other, the lively story of a happy family.