Overview

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.

Organised by Sharjah Art Foundation, SFP foregrounds recent cinematic achievements by international filmmakers and artists, noteworthy classics from around the region, as well as experimental films that challenge the idea of what film practice is today.

The 5th edition of the festival takes place from 21 to 30 October 2022 at Mirage City Cinema, Sharjah Institute of Theatrical Arts, and Gallery 4 of Al Mureijah Art Spaces.

Films

SFP’s film programme consists of entries received through an annual open call as well as by-invitation. The international open call welcomes recent feature-length and short films in three categories—narrative, documentary and experimental.

Special programmes include Director in Focus, foregrounding established filmmakers who have contributed to the film culture of the region and beyond, and collaborative initiatives with international institutions. Screenings are scheduled at MCC and other theatre venues in Sharjah.

Award

Select films, chosen by an external jury of filmmakers, critics and producers, will receive the Sharjah Film Platform Awards for Best Narrative, Best Documentary and Best Experimental, to be announced on the last day of the festival.

Past winners include Yashaswini Raghunandan's That Cloud Never Left (2019), Mohamed Zedan’s I Have a Picture: Film No. 1001 in the Life of the Oldest Extra in the World (2017), Ndumiso Mnguni's The Dark Cloud (2019), Mohammadreza Vatandoust's Lotus (2019) and Mayye Zayed's A Stroll Down Sunflower Lane (2016).

Talks and Workshops

Running alongside SFP is a diverse programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses, from discussions around emerging issues in moving image production to in-depth knowledge sharing among practitioners.

Concerts and Gatherings

SFP hosts musical performances, networking mixers and other gatherings—all open to the public—in the atmospheric venues of Al Mureijah, bringing together industry professionals and cinephiles.

Industry Hub

Organised in collaboration with Sharjah Media City (SHAMS), the Industry Hub enables the development the work of filmmakers by connecting them with film industry professionals. This includes the Pitching Forum which offers local scriptwriters an opportunity to realise their scripts to feature-length films.

Short Film Production Grant

Committed to independent filmmaking and artistic experimentation, SFP annually calls for submissions to its Short Film Production Grant. Successful applications are premiered at future SFP editions.