An aerial view of the open-air venue of the Khorfakkan Amphitheatre. WAM
More than 18,000 residents and visitors across the UAE have visited the newly opened Khorfakkan Amphitheatre in Sharjah’s eastern region enclave, to witness the screening of epic period film, Khorfakkan, produced by the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA), and partake in the inaugural festive activities held in the vast open-air venue from Dec.15-19.
At the Roman-inspired amphitheatre, a cultural and architectural landmark and one of the most prestigious development projects in the city, attendees relived the courageous heroism and sacrifices shown by their fellowmen during a ruthless Portuguese invasion over 500 years ago.
To coincide with the inauguration, a “Heritage Village” was set up at the site to showcase the rich variety of Emirati handicrafts and the original flavours of the local cuisine. Spectacular fireworks and a laser drone show were the other chief attractions during the five-day event.
Visitors being interviewed at the Khorfakkan Amphithreatre on the last day of the show.
Shot extensively over Khorfakkan’s shores, its farms, mountains, and other parts of the ancient city, the two-hour SBA production, the epic film is based on the historical book, Khorfakkan's Resistance Against the Portuguese Invasion of September 1507, by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
The two-hour SBA production represents an accurate cinematic depiction of the historic event and highlights the epic resistance put up by Khorfakkan's inhabitants as Portuguese naval commander General Afonso de Albuquerque and his forces sought to take control of the city.
In a statement, Mohamed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General of the SBA, said, "The significant turnout of residents and visitors for the screening of Khorfakkan and the feedback we have received from the public attests to the fact that moments that shape history and connect the present with the legacy of the past leave a lasting impression on the current generation.
The Portuguese invasion of 1507 is a little-known chapter of the UAE’s history, but the bravery and sacrifices of the city’s residents have played a formative role in carving the foundations of our national identity."
He added that the SBA production marks a quantum leap in the Authority’s efforts to produce visual content and sets a new milestone for the Emirati entertainment industry.
"As the cinematic adaptation of a work of literature, the movie represents an amalgamation of two art forms and is a collaboration with international directors and Arab artists and opens the possibilities for more cinematic material rooted in the nation’s history and legacy."
In line with all COVID-19 precautionary measures, the inaugural event was organised by SBA in collaboration with the Survey Planning Department, Khorfakkan Police, Civil Defence, and Khorfakkan City Municipality and Khorfakkan Municipal Council.
Mona Al Marri, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, inaugurated the event taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from March 5-7.
"Adjustments in the festival structure, the film programming and the total number of invited films will be defined by the festival management within the coming weeks," the organisers said in a statement.
The 120-minute Sharjah Broadcasting Authority (SBA) production, unveiled on Dec.15 to mark the inauguration of the Khorfakkan Amphitheatre, is much more than a memorable cinematic experience.
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