Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival 2017

Published on Oct 04 2017 - - Gulf - -

Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival 2017

To Screen Seven Regional Premieres

World-class directors show inspirational children’s movies for first time in Middle East



Sharjah, 4 October, 2017,


FUNN Establishment – Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children – has confirmed that Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF) will feature seven regional premieres this year by award-winning directors from around the world. The filmmakers include an Oscar recipient and a Grand Jury Prize Winner at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York, adding an extra-special dimension to the most successful event of its kind in the Middle East.


With an unprecedented 124 films from 31 countries participating at SICFF 2017, which runs from 8-13 October at Sharjah’s Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC), the premieres will offer audiences an exclusive insight into the latest works from some of the industry’s most respected indie directors.


The mix of themes includes thought-provoking stories about families, war, identity, friendship, dreams and social dilemmas, with the common thread that they are ultimately uplifting as children overcome harsh issues in times of trouble, and find that no crisis is unbeatable and no gap to vast too bridge.


Castille Landon’s ‘Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,’ which is the opening movie of SICFF, tells the story of Ivy, a teenage girl who is transported by a magical black stallion to the mystical world of Albion, where she discovers that she alone is the key to saving an entire race of people. Starring John Cleese, Debra Messing, Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Dorf, the film has received outstanding reviews.


At just 26 years-old, Castille Landon is the youngest director to screen a premiere at the 2017 festival. ‘Albion: The Enchanted Stallion’ received 93% in audience evaluation when it was screened in Bentonville Film Festival before being awarded the Grand Jury Prize for the Best Feature Film at EQUUS Film Festival in New York.


In ‘The Day my Father Became a Bush’, a ten-year-old girl is sent to live with her grandparents after her father is suddenly called away to defend his country. The story then follows her dramatic journey to find her mother. The film is directed by Nicole van Kilsdonk, who previously made documentaries and TV films before making features including ‘Hondje’, ‘Polonaise’ and ‘Dining’, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2004.


Stefan Jäger’s film, ‘Big and Little’, tells the tale of a man unhappy with his life and uncertain of his goals who travels from his native Switzerland to the Far East with a Japanese boy who helps him to rediscover his life, overcome his loneliness and find new perspectives. Among many other accolades, Jäger has won the Best Swiss TV Screenplay Award and the Audience and Best Screenplay Awards at the Saarbrucken Film Festival.


In ‘Window Horses’, a young Canadian poet travels to Persia to perform in a festival, but she has never travelled on her own, having been brought up with strict and protective Chinese grandparents. The film revolves around building bridges between cultural and generational divides and finding your own voice through the magic of poetry.


Canadian Director Ann Marie Fleming is an award-winning Canadian independent filmmaker, writer, and artist. Born in Japan to Chinese and Australian parents, she adapted her animated documentary ‘The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam’ into an Eisner Award-nominated graphic novel and has produced a number of acclaimed short films, including ‘Big Trees’ and the animated web-series ‘My Place’ for Discovery USA’s


At Eye Level’ has Michael as its central character. A young boy trying desperately to find his father, who doesn’t know Michael even exists. When the two eventually meet, Michael discovers that his father is a dwarf, which creates a bizarre internal conflict between the desire to have a family and the acceptance of his father’s differences.


The film is directed by Evi Goldbrunner, and written by Joachim Dollhopf whose productions have been screened in around 50 countries and won several prestigious awards including Cinema for Peace Talent and the Youth 4 German Cinema.


Ballad from Tibet’ reveals the story of a group of Tibetan children who only have a short time before they lose their sight. It tells of how they must strive to see the world in all its glory before they are plunged into a life of darkness, each one of them with their own ambitions and dreams, racing against time to fulfill them.


Director Zhang Wei was born in Hengyang, China. His previous work includes ‘Destiny’ (2017), ‘Factory Boss’ (2014), ‘Shadow Puppet Show of One Person’ (2011), and ‘Beijing Dream’.


Finally, Richard Claus will present the premiere of ‘The Little Vampire’, which completes the line-up of films at SICFF, featuring Rudolph, a thirteen year old vampire, whose clan is threatened by a notorious vampire hunter. He meets Tony, a mortal of the same age, who is fascinated by old castles, graveyards and – vampires. Tony helps Rudolph in an action and humor-packed battle against their adversaries.


Claus graduated from the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin and went on to direct German films and telefilms. He co-founded the production house Delta Film Gmbh, and has been producing and distributing under Comet Film Gmbh since 1993.


The films will be screened at Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre. Information about the dates and timings of the movies are available on the website and through the social networking sites through hashtag #sicff17.


The FUNN Establishment aims to nurture future generations of creative artists in media and film and promote new works made by the UAE’s young filmmakers at international film festivals and workshops worldwide. Its larger goal is to foster talent through events locally and internationally and to form a close-knit network of talented young people who can share experiences and expertise on a global scale.



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