Dear children, young people, parents, teachers, filmmakers and film lovers.
It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome you to the Fourth edition of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF), which has become an inspiring platform that invite us to look at life through children’s eyes.
SICFF is the brainchild of (FUNN), a Sharjah – based foundation dedicated to promoting media arts among children and young people, which was launched to improve the content of children’s films, discover, nurture and encourage home – grown talent and promote child moviemakers around the world.
The impetus for the festival came from a need to introduce new, culturally diverse films for children, create a new generation of creative talents, and recognize excellence in children’s filmmaking by providing a motivating environment for children and young people to encourage them to produce their own films that express them.
Undoubtedly, it is fun watching films, but the most important is the power of these films to influence and inspire young people to be productive and good citizens while shaping and steering their future to a meaningful direction, and this is why we launched SICFF, the region’s first – of – its- kind festival. As we strive to develop a strong local cinema scene, we believe that the younger generation are eager to make their voices heard and the UAE has the potential to generate professional filmmakers who will contribute to the overall growth of the cinema industry and be able to compete with top children’s moviemakers on the global stage.
Last year’s edition screened 175 films that were selected from among 286 films from almost 50 countries. The films cover short and animated films, features, fiction movies and documentaries that touch family issues, environmental concerns, impact of technology, and creativity, among others.
Film screenings held in various venues across the emirate of Sharjah, most notably Al Jawaher Reception and convention Centre, and Novo Cinemas – Sahara Centre. The film screenings were held for the first time in seven towns outside Sharjah, broadening 2014 geographic scope of film screenings, which were held in five towns only. Luckily, the UAE is a youth – rich country, and where there is educated youth, there is always a huge need for quality, meaningful, entertaining, and locally connected content. As we will continue to raise the bar in standards, I personally believe that nurturing this momentum will come through competitive and shared platforms like SICFF.
Finally, I hope that you will have enjoyable time, a lot of fun, and excitement at the festival this year.
Jawaher Abdullah Al Qasimi
Director of Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival