Sharjah Children’s Film Festival to hone skills of ‘junior jurors’ - GulfToday

Sharjah Children’s Film Festival to hone skills of ‘junior jurors’


With the participation of 25 children and youth, the first phase of the training will conclude on July 28.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) has launched a four-phase ‘Junior Jurors’ training programme to support and develop the capabilities of talented children and youth aspiring to be jury members in the Child and Youth-made Film category at the ninth edition of the festival set to kickstart in October this year.

Launched at Al Majaz Amphitheatre yesterday, the training programme will be held over four days each month until October. The young participants will learn the basics of film appreciation and gain insights into cinematic art including photography, directing, acting, and story development.

On Day 1 of the training programme yesterday, trainer Fatima Musharbak briefed participants on SIFF, highlighted its values and mission, drew attention to the influential guests it hosts every edition, and elaborated on its target audience. Young participants also watched a film highlighting previous editions of the festival and its wide range of activities including workshops and panel discussions.

The young participants will also be introduced to junior jurors of previous editions. With the participation of 25 children and youth, the first phase of the training will conclude on July 28.

At the workshops scheduled in August, participants will be trained in analysing and critiquing films. In September, jurors will present a detailed review of a film of their choice and will also receive training in building an understanding of the processes involved in selecting the winning film. The fourth set of workshops in October will outline the tasks and responsibilities of the young jurors at the 9th SIFF ahead of its opening.

A report earlier this year said that in line with its mission to continue to present wonderfully diverse voices in children’s cinema across all genres and formats, the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) has announced that submissions for its 9th edition are now open to all talented filmmakers and directors and students, young adults, and children from around the globe, until the end of March 2022.

Organised by FUNN, the Sharjah-based organisation that promotes media arts learning among children and youth in the UAE, the event is open to participants from all nationalities, and accepts entries in eight categories – child and youth-made films, student films, UAE short films, GCC short films, international short films, animations, documentaries, and feature films.

Entries to the 9th edition of the festival must fulfil certain conditions, most notably, that all submitted entries should be suitable for children, young adults, and adults aged up to 30 years.

The submissions should not have been previously broadcast on any TV, internet site, mobile phone app, or any other media outlet. Every participant must also guarantee having the rights necessary for the films submitted to the festival.

Commenting on the opening of submissions, Sheikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and SIFF, said: “SIFF is an inspiring platform for many young creative artists who share a passion for cinema. The festival supports new and talented filmmakers to further their professional skills and produce quality films that can compete and win prestigious Arab and international film awards.

“We look forward to receiving films that inspire, surprise and delight viewers and expand audience potential. We hope that the submitted movies will further SIFF’s agenda of showcasing meaningful films that appeal to the audience’s taste,” she added.

A 2021 report said the 8th annual Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF 2021) will be turning the spotlight on the voices, technical talents and budding creative genius of young filmmakers and aspiring media arts professionals in the UAE and the region once again at the FUNN Media-Art Annual Exhibition (FAME), which will be presenting more than 40 original works of FUNN’s students.

The creative output of students of FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts for Children and Youth – who were trained to gain a variety of professional skills in a series of expert-led workshops FUNN organised from 2019 – 2021, will be accessible by registering on the SIFF 2021 website:, throughout the duration of SIFF 2021, which is being held virtually from October 10 – 15.

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