48 films curated for young audiences will premiere on the SIFF 2021 platform

The films will have their world, Middle East, GCC & UAE premieres at the 8th Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth, October 10 – 15

Young movie buffs in the region and beyond are in for a true cinematic treat this year at the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF).  SIFF patrons will get to watch 48 exciting films across 7 categories that are being premiered for them exclusively at the eighth edition, which unveils on October 10, 2021.


SIFF 2021 will be screening 6 films making their world premieres, and four that are being screened for the first time for UAE audiences. The festival will also be the launch pad for 34 films in the Middle East, as well as 4 in the GCC circuit.

Being organised by FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children in a fully online format this year, SIFF will be streaming more than 80 diverse films across six days. The films are free to watch and can be accessed by registering at: www.siff.ae.

World premieres for two UAE-made films and four others

Two homegrown films, Childhood Trauma by UAE-based Safa Azarayesh that compel us to connect the dots of childhood trauma with adulthood and is competing in the GCC Short Films category, and Sarah Al Ali’s Don’t Give Up that reinforces the need to persevere even when things seem difficult – headline the six films that will have their world premieres at SIFF 2021.

   The other four include: The First Line, in Russian by Kate Bugrova; the Arabic film Opportunity by Saudi Arabian Fahad Alotaibi, which narrates a game of life and death; the emotionally resonant Persian film, Sweet Taste of Darkness by Mitra Raeesmohammadi; and Kazakh film Shoqan that explores the reality of truth, and directed by Kuka.

Popular ‘Last Round’ among 34 films that will have first outing in the Middle East

Last Round, an animated short that has been gaining fame and popularity for its universal story of sibling love, is among the 34 films that are having their Middle East premiere at SIFF this year.

A graduation project by Anatole Bournique, Maeva Chaulvet, Katia Hochstetter,Nicolas Jaffre, and Thais Mercier, students of the Goerges Melies School of Animation, France, the film narrates the story of a promising young boxer who is willing to do  anything to finance the future of his little sister, a piano prodigy.

Award-winning ‘The Little Boat that Wanted to Fly’ among the GCC premieres

The four films being shown in the GCC for the first time include the Russian animated film directed by Ekaterina Filippova, The Little Boat that Wanted to Fly. Winner of the Best Children’s Film Award at the 2020 World Festival of Animated Film (WFAF), it narrates a touching story about inclusion – a boat that doesn’t fit in with others because it wants to fly.

The other films include The Orphanage, a captivating drama about an Afghan teen in trouble by Shahrbanoo Sadat; In My Dream, a Turkish tale of chasing dreams by Murat Ceri; and the Arabic film Barcode where commercialism and innocence intersect by Saudi Arabia’s Muhammad Alghamdi.

Award winner at Cannes Independent Film Festival among UAE premieres

Kazakh director Alina Mustafina’s film Ander which won the special jury prize at the Cannes Independent Film Festival as well as the Best Documentary Film Award at Qatar’s Ajyal Film Festival in 2020, will be among the four films to open for the first time in the UAE.

Journalist, writer and filmmaker Mustafina’s short documentary shares the story of her five-year-old boy Ander, who suffers from a very rare dairy allergy. He is an active and joyful kid but due to his allergic conditions he has to eat separately from his classmates at school and brings his own cake to parties.

The other films include Comfortable Position, a film centred on the theme of dreams and sleep and made by a group of 8 to 12-year-old children from Uzbekistan; Al-Sit by Suzannah Mirghani; and Saudi Arabian director Mohammed Atabani’s Block.

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