Tuesday 30 March 2021

UAE's Sharjah Film Platform opens entries for 2021 festival

Screening of Director Nadira Amrani speaking about her under-production venture Hajja (2021). Pic: c/o SAF.

Sharjah Art Foundation, in UAE, invites filmmakers to submit entries for the its 4th Sharjah Film Platform. Designed for emerging and established filmmakers, from across the world, the SFP has started receiving entries, which close 10 May 2021 for the fourth edition of the Foundation’s annual film festival.

 The selected films will be screened at the annual film festival, which is scheduled for November 2021, and be considered for an award in the Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Experimental Films categories for short and feature films. All films, regardless of artistic approach, format, or themes, will be accepted for consideration.

Providing a critical platform for filmmakers, producers, critics and students, SFP was launched by Sharjah Art Foundation in 2018 as a resource to support filmmaking in the UAE and the region. SFP features an extensive film programme that includes short and feature-length films; a public programme of talks and workshops featuring acclaimed filmmakers and experts from around the world; and a professional programme, the SFP Industry Hub, which includes four initiatives that aim to support the work of local and international filmmakers through training courses and production opportunities. SFP furthers the Foundation’s longstanding commitment to film creation, production and programming. 

Since its inaugural edition, SFP has screened over 250 films in the narrative, documentary and experimental genres at the Foundation’s open-air Mirage City Cinema, The Flying Saucer and in various venues across the city of Sharjah, as well as online. 

Prize-winning films shown at the third edition of SFP, which ran from 14 to 21 November 2020, included The Name of the Flowers (2019), directed by Bahman Tavoosi; Stay Awake, Be Ready (2020), directed by Pham Thien An; Mothers of the Land (2020), directed by Alvaro and Diego Sarmiento; I Have Seen Nothing, I Have Seen All (2019), directed by Yaser Kassab; The Witch’s Cauldron (2019), directed by Branislav Jankic; and Fasten Your Seatbelts While Seated (2020), directed by Samir Radwan. 

The SFP3 jury was composed of international filmmakers, producers and critics, including John Akomfrah (filmmaker), Kerem Ayan (Director, Istanbul International Film Festival), Iftikhar Dadi (teacher and researcher), Mounir Fatmi (artist), Eve Gabereau (Founder and CEO, Modern Films Entertainment), Delphine Garde-Mroueh (film programmer), Alice Kahroubi (Cannes Film Corner), Viola Shafik (film theorist) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (filmmaker).

Successful applicants will be notified by email. 

 For more information, visit sharjahart.org.

Sharjah Art Foundation is an advocate, catalyst and producer of contemporary art within the Emirate of Sharjah and the surrounding region, in dialogue with the international arts community. Under the leadership of founder Hoor Al Qasimi, a curator and artist, the Foundation advances an experimental and wide-ranging programmatic model that supports the production and presentation of contemporary art, preserves and celebrates the distinct culture of the region and encourages a shared understanding of the transformational role of art. The Foundation’s core initiatives include the long-running Sharjah Biennial, featuring contemporary artists from around the world; the annual March Meeting, a convening of international arts professionals and artists; grants and residencies for artists, curators and cultural producers; ambitious and experimental commissions and a range of travelling exhibitions and scholarly publications. 

Established in 2009 to expand programmes beyond the Sharjah Biennial, which launched in 1993, the Foundation is a critical resource for artists and cultural organisations in the Gulf and a conduit for local, regional and international developments in contemporary art. The Foundation’s deep commitment to developing and sustaining the cultural life and heritage of Sharjah is reflected through year-round exhibitions, performances, screenings and educational programmes in the city of Sharjah and across the Emirate, often hosted in historic buildings that have been repurposed as cultural and community centres. A growing collection reflects the Foundation’s support of contemporary artists in the realisation of new work and its recognition of the contributions made by pioneering modern artists from the region and around the world.

Sharjah Art Foundation is a legally independent public body established by Emiri Decree and supported by government funding, grants from national and international nonprofits and cultural organisations, corporate sponsors and individual patrons. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

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