Sharjah Art Foundation’s annual film festival, Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), returns for its fifth edition from 21 to 30 October 2022. In addition to presenting a rich programme of film screenings and talks, Sharjah Film Platform also includes the Industry Hub. Geared towards industry professionals, SFP Industry Hub consists of the Pitching Forum, a feature scriptwriting competition with an open call; Script Lab, a professional scriptwriting course; and an annual initiative to support regional and international film circulation. The Pitching Forum is supported by Sharjah Media City (SHAMS), and this year’s film circulation initiative is held in partnership with Network of Alternative Arab Screens (NAAS).

Pitching Forum and Script Lab

Returning for its fourth iteration, this year’s Pitching Forum is offering one script writer based in the UAE an opportunity to win 200,000 AED to turn their Arabic language feature-length script into a film. Shortlisted from a wider pool of applicants, 10 finalists will receive intensive scriptwriting training and professional pitching coaching and will then present their scripts to a panel of industry judges in front of a live audience on Saturday, 29 October 2022, on the closing weekend of Sharjah Film Platform. The prize winner will be announced at the festival’s closing ceremony the next day. Production of the selected film should take place in Sharjah within 24 months of winning the prize. The Pitching Forum is supported by this year’s industry partner, Sharjah Media City (SHAMS).

The Pitching Forum includes the Script Lab, a scriptwriting course designed to give Pitching Forum finalists an opportunity to strengthen narrative arc and character development and take their scripts to the next level. The Script Lab will take place on-site at Sharjah Art Foundation over one weekend from 14 to 16 October 2022. Finalists will also receive pitching coaching, which will take place online and on-site at Sharjah Art Foundation.

Pitching Coach: Alaa Alasad, producer and Content Development Manager, Creative Media Solutions

Script Lab Instructor: Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, screenwriter, director and producer

Pitching Forum Jury: Mervat Aksoy, Senior Development Executive, OSN; Fagr Kassim Ali, Director, Media Sector Development, Sharjah Media City (Shams); Sophie Boutros, Filmmaker, writer and producer; Bader Mohamed, Filmmaker; and Razan Takash, Head of Film Department, SAE Institute;

The open call for this year’s Pitching Forum invited submissions from 18 July to 5 September 2022.

Past Pitching Forum Awardees

The recipient of the SFP4 Pitching Forum Prize in 2021 was Yaser Al Neyadi, for his feature film script From 8 to 6, which is currently in pre-production.

The recipient of the SFP3 Pitching Forum Prize in 2020 was Abdulla Al Kaabi, for his feature film script Camel Tears.

Film Circulation Support

This year’s film circulation initiative is held in partnership with Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS), and will offer the award-winning films of Sharjah Film Platform 5, the opportunity to receive further circulation of their films at select screening venues across the region. Details will be announced after the festival ends, following discussion with rights holders and members of the NAAS network.

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SFP5 Industry Hub

Sharjah Film Platform 5

Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) is an annual festival of independent cinema, documentary filmmaking and moving image where audiences can discover new approaches to film and art. The ten-day event—which includes a range of regional and international films, talks by filmmakers and industry professionals, musical concerts and mixers—is centred around Mirage City Cinema (MCC), the open-air theatre in Sharjah’s historical quarter.


Industry Partner

Film Circulation Partner