Sharjah’s only outdoor cinema, designed by filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and architect Ole Scheeren for the Sharjah Biennial 11, has been transformed into Sharjah Film Platform (SFP) – the UAE’s first critical platform for film. Along with showcasing emerging directors, international award-winning projects and special curated series focusing on a genre or theme under a remit of the unconventional, SFP will also offer film production grants, workshops, discussions and filmmaking awards as part of the foundation’s commitment to being a cultural catalyst.
Launching with an open call for the first of its annual Short Film Production Grants, the winner – to be announced this month – will receive $30,000 and screen their original film in January 2019 as part of SFP’s programme. The programme will also include commissions and co-commissions, educational programmes for enthusiasts and amateurs alike, and will offer specialty events as a result of collaborations and partnerships with film festivals such as Reel Palestine and the Dubai International Film Festival.
A highlight of the upcoming SFP will be the Curated Film Programme, which will see a guest curator create a selection of short and feature films, documentaries, experimental, narrative and animated works that hone in on a specific theme of choice. The first edition will take place in January 2019, and from this programme, a jury of international film professionals will select winners from each category as part of the SFP Award.
The programming will be free and open to the public.