Following the sudden, unexpected announcement that Dubai International Film Festival, the premiere platform for Arab cinema, will be postponed indefinitely, it has now been revealed that the Sharjah Art Foundation will be launching its first-ever film festival on January 18 in an effort to shine a light on emerging and established local filmmakers, directors, and actors. Entitled the Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), the inaugural cinematic event will run until January 26 and feature more than 140 short and feature-length films from more than 40 countries around the world.
Among the films set to be showcased during the 9-day film festival are three films by the late Egyptian director Youssef Chahine (Cairo Station). Each film being showcased during the Sharjah Film Platform will be screened at 3pm, 6pm and 9pm each day at various venues across the emirate, including Africa Hall, Mirage City Cinema, and Al Hamra Cinema. Additionally, there will also be a schedule of talks and workshops that will cover a wide range of subjects including screen writing and film critique.
Meanwhile, a jury of internationally-acclaimed film experts will also select winners for the best narrative, documentary, and experimental film as part of the program. In an effort to further nurture and promote regional, up-and-coming film talent, The Sharjah Art Foundation will also offer a new annual production grant of up to US $30,000, which will be awarded to emerging filmmakers. The recipients are expected to produce a short film within 12 months of receiving their grants. The films will be shown in the following year’s SFP as part of a special production grant program.
The inaugural edition of SFP will take place from January 18-26. Tickets can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, visit www.sharjahart.org