The Sharjah Art Foundation awarded outstanding films in the experimental, narrative and documentary categories at the recent Sharjah 5 Cinema Platform (SFP5) during an awards ceremony held at the Heritage Area in the heart of Sharjah.

The Foundation also announced the winner of this year’s Pitching Forum, an open-call feature film screenwriting competition, offering a UAE-based screenwriter the chance to win $54,400 (Dh200,000) to transform their screenplay. feature film in Arabic into a film.

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The fifth edition of Sharjah Film Platform brought together over 30 regional and international films from emerging and award-winning filmmakers. The annual film festival included lectures and masterclasses as well as musical performances which were introduced into the festival program.

For this year’s Sharjah Film Platform Awards, an external jury of filmmakers, critics and producers shortlisted the films and selected three winning films by category: Feature, Short and Honorable Mention.

“Copacabana Papers” (2021) by Fernando Portabales was voted Best Experimental Feature.

According to the jury, “it’s a film that packs a punch; In its chaotic style, fast-paced editing and huge archive of pop culture, fashion, film and music references, this film challenges the concept of freedom through the journey of a provocative artist whose medium of he expression was about inventing a revolutionary nightlife in Buenos Aires for a community that defied all social construction.

Yasmine Benabdallah’s ‘How to Reverse a Spell: The Promise of an Archive’ (2022) won Best Experimental Short.

The jury celebrated this “desktop film” because it “uses the computer screen itself as a form of reflection on researching and navigating Morocco’s lost public archives”.

Moreover, the jury also stated that “the disappearance of these files raises relevant questions applicable not only to Morocco but also to other countries in the region”.

‘INCIPINECE’ (2021) by Yaroslav Bulavin received an honorable mention (experimental).

The jury selected this “haunting and bewitching film” about water which was made without the use of computer effects. According to the jury, “the film served as a necessary reminder of the fragile state of the natural ecosystem of this planet”.

The prize for best narrative feature film went to ‘A second life, GADHA’ (2022) by Anis Lassoued.

The jury found the “film both touching and stimulating. It’s very well scripted and beautifully staged and the performances of the actors deeply touched the jury.

The best narrative short film was “Hello” (2022) by Catherine Mazoyer. The film captivated the jury with its “beautiful, thought-provoking story that escapes a heavy tone. It also tackles the theme of the fear of rejection through light dialogue and original narration.

Navid Nikkahah Azad’s ‘The Recess’ (2021) received an honorable mention (story). Speaking about the film, the jury liked the way it “tackles the image of gender oppression”.

Moreover, they were also impressed with how “the director presented the main character in a sensitive and realistic way that convinced any viewer to live in the character’s world, as well as the unique dialogue between the girls formed a exceptional example of the art of the short film”. film.”

“Veins of the Amazon” (2021) by Alvaro Sarmiento, Diego Sarmiento and Terje Toomistu was voted Best Documentary Feature.

The jury described it as a “brilliantly conceived and executed film documenting indigenous life along the Amazon River”. Besides the quality of the work, “the documentary reorients us, centers the world with the people and their lives on a moving ship and its riversides.”

The award for Best Documentary Short Film went to ’20 Books a Month’ (2019) by Hassan Ayman Abodoma.

The film impressed the jury because “it depicts a great humanity and a conscience that brings viewers into a domestic and class reality on the brink of extinction”.

According to the jury, “the short film is deeply touching in its portrayal of intimacy and anticipation through thoughtful direction and portrayal of a fiery character and life force”.

‘As I Want’ (2021) by Samaher Alqadi received an honorable mention (documentary). The jury honored the “brave, unwavering, intricately layered film that conveys the unbreakable weave of personal and political viewpoints on the street and at home.”

The jury recognized “the director’s creation of a hard-hitting work under conditions of constant brutality and great insecurity, which makes it a deeply powerful and moving film”.

A jury of filmmakers and industry experts also announced the winner of this year’s Pitching Forum. Sameeha bint Saeed Alavi received the cash prize to support the production of her Arabic language feature film script titled “Nabil”.

Supported by Sharjah Media City (Shams), Pitching Forum is part of the SFP Industry Hub which was established to inspire film industry professionals and enable the development of filmmakers’ work by connecting them with industry professionals cinematographic.

Besides the Pitching Forum, the Script Lab, a professional screenwriting course is also part of the Industry Hub. The latest addition,

The Film Circulation Initiative, in partnership with the Network of Arab Alternative Screens (NAAS), enables the circulation of short and feature films through the NAAS platform and network.

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