SIFF’s young visitors: We pledge not to bully others - GulfToday

SIFF’s young visitors: We pledge not to bully others


The workshop gave young visitors to SIFF insights on what constitutes bullying and how to respond to it.

Young visitors to the seventh edition of the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) 2019 pledged not to bully other children.

The pledge came duringa workshop organised by the Child Safety Department (CSD), a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA). The workshop aimed to educate children on the noble values of tolerance, friendship, cooperation and love, reinforcing the close and healthy social relationships between them.

Conducted by NahlaHamdan Al Saadi, Head of Programmes and Events at CSD, the workshop gave young visitors to SIFF insights on what constitutes bullying and how to respond to it, through engaging games and role play, in addition to showcasing a selection of photographs that illustrate the different types of bullying; verbal, social, physical and cyber bullying.

She discussed the differences between the four types of bullying and how to react to each form, highlighting the importance of asking help from parents, teachers, or other trusted adults.

The workshop also highlighted the negative impact of bullying on children in terms of academic development, and how it may discourage them from going to school. It can also take a great physical and emotional toll on kids such as fatigue, depression, stress, detachment and isolation.

The workshop educated kids on the five steps to deal with bullies, starting with ignoring them, walking away from the situation, speaking amicably to avoid escalation, speaking firmly when the bullying continues, and culminating in the last step which is telling parents, teachers or social experts.

The seventh Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF 2019) commenced on Sunday evening highlighting the capacity of the human spirit to realise the dreams through screening animated film ‘Chin Up’ and the Japanese feature film ‘The Traveling Cat Chronicles’.

The screening of short animation ‘Chin Up’ by Britain’s JoAnne Salmon who hasn’t let her rare genetic condition, which has given her a facial disability, stop her going places with her artistic talent, and the Japanese feature film, ‘The Traveling Cat Chronicles’ inspired by the book, The San Francisco Chronicles, showed them the beauty of uncompromising emotional connections; not just with humans but animals and our environment.

Young Saudi actor Abdullah Ali, who has received international acclaim for his lead role in ‘Born a King’, got up on the SIFF 2019 podium and strongly emphasised to his peers that the future of Arab cinema is in their hands – a platform they must collectively develop to tell their stories to the world.

“To all the young aspiring filmmakers here today – understand that we are the future of the Arab and Muslim world and we will be sharing our stories that will be produced by us, directed by us and will be featuring us as actors,” said Ali, who plays King Faisal’s character in the Kingdom’s first commercial film.

He said, “The stories that we decide to share will be inspiring, not just to the UAE or the Arab world, but the whole world. Because what you have just imagined is what I have lived. I would like you to live this dream too, and the only way we can do it is through the wonderful human imagination.” Recalling his experience, he said, “Three years ago, I did not know what I wanted to do and then this opportunity to act in ‘Born a King’ came along. I grabbed it. One thing this experience has taught me is that all that matters is for you to strongly believe in yourself and your capabilities. I believed in me as a 16-year-old, and look where it got me.”

The opening ceremony was attended by Sheikh Saud Bin Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi and a galaxy of starts from the Arab and international cinema fraternity including Kuwaiti actor Abdul Rahman Al Aqel, Syrian actor Bassel Khayat, Saudi actor Abdul Mohsen Al Neme, Emirati filmmakers Nujoom Al Ghanem, Abdullah Al Junaibi and Nahla Al Fahad, Egyptian filmmaker-critic Yosri Nasrallah, Canadian director Julian Carrington and British animator Joanne Salmon.

Delivering keynote address at the opening ceremony, Director of FUNN and SIFF Sheikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qasimi said that this year’s edition is special for its theme, the new dimensions and objectives added, and for the success it has seen in attracting three times the number of entries for its film competitions compared to the 2018 edition.

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