First edition of Sharjah film festival opens with 140 screenings, talks

Mirage City Cinema, Al Mureijah Square in Sharjah. — Courtesy photo

SHARJAH — The first edition of Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), a new annual film festival organized and presented by Sharjah Art Foundation began at the weekend with an opening reception followed by the premier of films by short film production grant awardees.

The film festival will run up to Jan. 26 in four venues across the city of Sharjah — Mirage City Cinema, Al Mureijah Square; Sharjah Institute of Theatrical Arts, Al Mareija; The Africal Hall; and Al Hamra Cinema.

The Sharjah Film Platform includes screenings of over 140 narrative, documentary and experimental films, both short and feature length.

More than 40 countries and over 30 languages are represented.

A number of these films will have their premieres at SFP. Among the premieres are two films by the SFP Short Film Production Grant awardees, that were screened on the opening night on Friday (Jan. 18), in Mirage City Cinema. 
In a collaboration with The Africa Institute, Sharjah Art Foundation will also present three restored films by Youssef Chahine in Africa Hall to mark the 10th anniversary of the internationally acclaimed Egyptian director’s passing. This special focus on Youssef Chahine is programed by Hind Mezaina.

Talks, workshops

Alongside the film screenings, a public program of talks and workshops on both conceptual and practical topics will offer opportunities to examine pertinent and pressing issues within the film industry.

Featuring Emirati filmmakers and practitioners along with regional and international speakers, sessions will touch on post colonialism, nation-building, representation and new technologies as well as intersections between film and contemporary art.

Sessions will be led by Emirati filmmakers and practitioners along with regional and international speakers. All talks and workshops are free and open to the public. To register to attend, visit
Films will be screened every day at either 3 p.m., 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. in one of the four venues.
Tickets will also be available for purchase at the screening venues and the box office located at Sharjah Art Foundation’s Information Center in Al Mureijah Square, Sharjah.

Ticket prices are Dh15 per program, but a discounted price of Dh 8 per program is available for bulk ticket purchases of 10 or more. For group ticket sales to the screenings of the film programs at a discounted price, please contact — Al Arabiya English