SHARJAH, (Pakistan Point News - 26th Oct, 2023) The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth has drawn over 3,100 students, along with their supervisors, representing 34 schools in Sharjah, Dubai, and Ajman.
This achievement unfolded just four days into the festival's tenth edition, which runs until 28th October. These attendees have actively participated in various engaging activities, workshops, and screenings held at VOX Cinemas in City Center Al Zahia, City Center Mirdif, and City Center Ajman.
Notably, the festival's third day boasted a rich agenda filled with workshops, events, and discussion sessions. Among these, the "Film Financing: A Guide to Securing Funds" session stood out, featuring Mohamed Keblawi, the Director of the Malmo Film Festival.
During his insightful presentation, Keblawi shed light on the origins of the Arab film festival in Malmo, emphasising its evolution from initial experiments in Paris, Sydney, Berlin, and the United States to its present status as the largest and most renowned Arab festival outside the Arab region. He attributed the festival's success to its strategic location in the culturally diverse city of Malmo, Sweden, which is home to 165 nationalities. A distinctive aspect of the festival is its expansion beyond film screenings, evolving in 2015 to include a market and festival forum.
Keblawi said, "In the festival's early years, we showcased 70 to 80 Arab films, but after four years, we expanded our horizons to engage in film production and have since supported over 60 short, feature, and documentary films. We introduced the 'Cultural Excellence' award in 2020 and, this year, launched a new award related to financing and the festival market."
The creative aspects of filmmaking were explored in a separate session, "The Filmmaker Within: Overcoming Fears to Realize Your Creative Potential", where Saudi film researcher Abdul Rahman Al-Ghannam emphasised the significance of adapting to different directorial visions and storytelling approaches across generations. He stressed the importance of collaboration within the filmmaking team, as well as the value of sharing films with the public to gather feedback and advice for future projects.
In parallel, the "Green Carpet" activities featured a screening of "Little Nicholas," directed by Benjamin Masoper and Amondine Evrodon. The film centers around the adventures of "Little Nicholas," a spirited and mischievous boy who embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery.
The tenth edition of the festival, which continues until October 28, showcases 81 films from 37 countries worldwide. Notably, it includes cinematic works from first-time participating countries such as the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Republics of Montenegro, Malta, Togo, and Vietnam. The festival also introduces three world premieres and 43 films making their middle East debut. Furthermore, it hosts the "Green Carpet" platform, featuring four feature films: "Nezouh," "Little Nicholas," "She's From Another Planet," and “Valley Road.”