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Sharjah Film Platform announces awards for narrative, documentary, experimental films

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Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) announced on Tuesday the winners of awards for exemplary narrative, documentary and experimental films at the third edition of its annual film festival, Sharjah Film Platform 3 (SFP3), held from November 14 to 21, 2020.

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The festival featured over 60 short and feature-length narrative, documentary and experimental films made by local, regional and international filmmakers as well as awards, talks and workshops exploring the latest techniques and theories in film.

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The award for Best Narrative Feature went to ‘The Name of the Flowers,’ directed by Bahman Tavoosi, while Best Narrative Short went to ‘Stay Awake, Be Ready,’ directed by Pham Thien An.

‘Mothers of the Land,’ directed by Alvaro and Diego Sarmiento, was awarded Best Documentary Feature, and ‘I Have Seen Nothing, I Have Seen All,’ directed by Yaser Kassab, received Best Documentary Short.

In the experimental film category, ‘The Witch’s Cauldron,’ directed by Branislav Jankic, was selected as Best Experimental Feature, and ‘Fasten Your Seatbelts While Seated,’ directed by Samir Radwan, was awarded Best Experimental Short.

The jury also awarded Special Mentions to ‘An-Nissa,’ directed by Ymane Fakhir (narrative category); ‘How the Air Feels’, directed by Khaula Malik (documentary category); ‘The Wishing Tree,’ directed by Silvina Der Meguerditchian (documentary category); and ‘Phantom Menace’ directed by Graeme Arnfield (experimental category).

‘Shame,’ directed by Abdullah Al Benhamdah (narrative category), received a Commendation.

The jury of international filmmakers, producers and critics who selected the awardees was composed of 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).

Sharjah Art Foundation also named filmmaker and scriptwriter Abdulla Al Kaabi as the winner of the Sharjah Film Platform Pitching Forum Prize. He will receive a Dh 200,000 ($54,444 ) production fund to develop his script ‘Camel Tears’ into a feature film.

Abdulla Al Kaabi at Sharjah Film Platform 3 Industry Hub Pitching Forum. (Courtesy: Sharjah Art Foundation)
Abdulla Al Kaabi at Sharjah Film Platform 3 Industry Hub Pitching Forum. (Courtesy: Sharjah Art Foundation)

Endowed by Sharjah Art Foundation and the SFP3 Industry Hub Partner, Sharjah Media City (Shams), the production fund had originally been set at Dh.100,000. It was increased to Dh. 200,000 in consideration of the economic hardships faced by artists due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The production of Al Kaabi’s film is expected to begin in early 2021, and shooting will take place in different locations across Sharjah.