Sharjah Film Platform returns for its second edition with a rich fare

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The second edition of the Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), the Sharjah Art Foundation’s (SAF) annual film festival, returns from December 14 to December 21, 2019.

This year, the festival will screen over 50 short and feature-length films in the narrative, documentary and experimental categories by filmmakers from across the region and around the world who responded to an international open call.

Screenings will take place in SAF’s open-air Mirage City Cinema and Al Hamra Cinema, Sharjah’s oldest movie theatre.


New productions

Included in the program are the following three new productions supported by SFP’s Short Film Production Grant.

Grant winner Julian Alexander’s film ‘Layla, At Last’ (2019) follows protagonist Layla on her journey of identity, discovery and re-connection with her Moroccan heritage.

Emerson Reyes’ film, ‘Children of the Lake’ (2019), depicts two innocent children getting accidentally caught up in a deadly conflict.

Faisal Attrache’s ‘From the Mountain’ (2019) explores a 1922 Syrian farmer’s dilemma about whether to fight for a better nation or ensure the protection of his family.

All three films will premiere on the opening night of the festival.

All SFP films will be screened at the foundation’s open-air Mirage City Cinema in Al Mureijah Art Spaces or at Al Hamra Cinema.

Mirage City Cinema was designed by filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and architect Ole Scheeren as a commission for Sharjah Biennial 11.

A primary venue for film screenings at Sharjah Art Foundation, Mirage City Cinema is a public space that furthers the foundation’s mission of making art inclusive and accessible to all.

Film screenings for Sharjah Film Platform at Mirage City Cinema, Sharjah Art Foundation, 2010.  (2) Photo -Sharjah Art Foundation
Film screenings for Sharjah Film Platform at Mirage City Cinema, Sharjah Art Foundation, 2010. (2) Photo -Sharjah Art Foundation

Al Hamra Cinema is an iconic Sharjah institution and dates back to the 1970s. Audiences can enjoy a number of film screenings in this theatre, which is one of the oldest cinemas in the city of Sharjah.

Talks, panel discussions, and workshops

This edition of SFP also includes a number of talks, panel discussions, and workshops. The public program of talks will bring together filmmakers, artists, industry professionals and audiences to explore different approaches to filmmaking and current issues in the film industry.

Aspiring filmmakers and film enthusiasts can take part in a range of workshops that cover different aspects of filmmaking, including screenwriting and production.

At the end of the festival, an international jury will announce the winners of the best narrative, documentary and experimental film awards. The winning filmmakers will receive a monetary prize to support the production of future projects.

The talks will take place on Saturday, December 14, and Friday, December 20, with the participating speakers and moderators listed below:

Sarah Abu Abdullah, video artist; Lawrence Abu Hamdan, artist; Tarik Aktas, filmmaker; Mohannad Al Bakri, Managing Director, Royal Film Commission, Jordan; Abdullah Al Kaabi, filmmaker; Nezar Andary, filmmaker and Professor, Zayed University; Omar Butti, Executive Director of Innovation Programs, Dubai Film and TV Commission; Ali Cherri, artist; Sarah Choo Jing, artist; Rana Eid, filmmaker; Emile Fallaux, Board Member, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA); Kevin Jones, arts writer; Shambhavi Kaul, filmmaker; Ruth Maclennan, artist and filmmaker; Mohamad Malas, filmmaker; Lina Matta, Director of MBC 2, MBC 4, MBC Max and Variety, and Member of UAE Selection Committee, Oscars Foreign Language Selection Category; Richie Mehta, director and writer; and Naeem Mohaiemen, artist.

This edition of SFP will include the inaugural Pitching Forum, which will serve as a platform for emerging filmmakers to present their films to industry professionals, describe new projects, find potential collaborators for future projects and receive valuable feedback.

This film development and networking event will be by invitation only for the first year.

For more information, visit

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