The Sharjah Film Platform 3 is entering the closing stage this weekend with an exciting line-up of film screenings and premiers.
The festival program over the week showcases over 60 short and feature-length films from around the world in cinemas and online.
This weekend sees the UAE premiere of the highly anticipated films ‘Between Two Seas’ (2019) by Anas Tolba and ‘Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom’ (2019) by Pawo Choyning Dorji.
Read more: Robust line-up of screenings, talks, and workshops lined up at Sharjah Film Platform
The MENA premieres include acclaimed films ‘Sunless Shadows’ (2019) by Mehrdad Oskouei, ‘Looking for the Man with the Camera’ (2019) by Boutheyna Bouslama; ‘The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs’ (2020)’ by Pushpendra Singh; and ‘Careless Crime’ (2020) by Shahram Mokri.
Other screenings this weekend feature a number of new and original short films in the narrative, documentary and experimental categories.
Audiences can enjoy all the films in the cinema or from the comfort of their home on the festival’s online platform, where films become available for streaming the day after the cinema screening.
Also taking place this weekend are the festival’s online talks on current issues in the film industry, led by renowned industry experts, as well as a range of exciting hands-on workshops for children aged 6 to 15.
The Sharjah Film Platform 3 opened on November 14 evening with the world premiere of the 2020 Short Film Production Grant winner ‘Once Upon a Revolution’ (2020), directed by Soha Shukayr, and special previews of the two other grant recipients: ‘Hajja’ (2021), directed by Nadira Amrani, and ‘She Who Saw the Deep’ (2021), directed by collaborators Pelin Tan and Anton Vidokle.
Born in 1989 in Baljarshi, Saudi Arabia, Shukayr currently lives and works in Beirut.
Shukayr’s experience as a film editor has left her with a deep understanding of the power of cinematography and editing in telling stories and creating a unique visual language.
Shukayr’s passion lies in directing, and she works as an independent director for television commercials and music videos. As a freelance film editor, she has collaborated with well-known artists on numerous projects in Lebanon and other Arab countries.
In 2017, she co-founded Cutting Board Films, a multi-service post-production house.
Even though the narrative of ‘Once Upon a Revolution’ is only 15 minutes long, it has the seat of the edge quality, focusing on the dramatic events unfolding on the streets of Beirut during the October 17 Revolution.
The young protagonists, Nay and Hassan, meet on the streets of the capital city thirsting for change. Both believe in human dignity and the need to fight corruption and injustice, but their world views do diverge in different ways.
When the police crackdown on the revolt, everything turns into a nightmare. As a last resort to shift the tide of the revolution, Nay and Hassan decide to leak to the media a corruption allegation involving a politician who works with Nay’s father.
The consequences of this action turn out to be much worse than they expect. on a fight against political corruption during the 2019 protests in Beirut.
Screened later on the same evening was the Middle East premiere of ‘Epicentro’ (2020), a stunning feature-length documentary from Academy Award-nominated director Hubert Sauper.
The 108-minute-long documentary had its premier and was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival held in January, 2020.
The documentary from Oscar-nominated director Hubert Sauper is an immersive portrait of the crumbling, revolutionary or singularly ‘Utopian’ idea of Cuba and its wonderful people.
‘Epicentro’ explores the lived reality a century after the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana, the event that ushered in the American Empire. It is also a philosophical deep dive into the nature of imperialistic power and the medium of cinema itself which can be used to project an alternative reality.