The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) 2019 will be showcasing the creativity of a line-up of young filmmakers from around the world through 59 films, some of which are being premiered at the seventh edition of the event which will run from October 13 – 18, 2019.
The fare includes many award-winning films that take unique and creative approaches to topics that affect youth, remarkably directed and produced by young filmmakers trained at a variety of art and film schools from around the world.
Here, we provide a glimpse into some of the best films for youth, made by youth, that will be shown at SIFF 2019.
‘The Station’ – When the waiting becomes Scary
Life is like a journey with many stations. Who has not wondered whether they are at the right station? Remember how when we were young everything seemed so much bigger, more crowded and frightening? What took us so far away? Those questions and many more are addressed in ‘The Station’, through four minutes of intensive narrative, plot and creativity. A grandmother waiting to pick up her granddaughter at the railway station panics and loses control when she realizes she is on the wrong platform and that she is in a race against time to find the right one.
Jocelyn Wat is the director, producer, editor, sound and music designer of ‘The Station’. She is an animator and illustrator based in Hong Kong. She studied at the University of the West of England and has a BA Hons in Animation with First-Class Honours.
‘The Stained Club’ – The stains that hide something
‘The Stained Club’ is based on a vital issue addressed impressively in this animated film by a group of young professionals in the digital direction from Supinfocom Rubika School, Valenciennes, France.
When Finn finds other kids with stains, he is overjoyed because they are so cool and make him feel that he belongs for the first time! He soon discovers that their stains are not like his. His friends seem to be hiding something. Are they victims of violence? What is the secret of Finn’s stains?
‘Tracing Addai’- Lost man’s approach
One way or the other, conflicts around the world have a significant impact on the innocent victims, who pay the price of wars. However, there is a dark side to this issue, as some people blindly engage in conflicts and embrace death in a quest to grasp an elusive answer. ‘Tracing Addai’ is a film about a young German in his 20s, who suddenly leaves for Syria to help the cause and join the fight. The film shines the spotlight on the motives that led him to take this decision. Why did he go? What happened to him?
The film is directed by Esther Niemeier, a German director and producer working in the UK and Germany. Her graduation film, ‘Tracing Addai’ is funded by the Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and co-produced by German broadcaster RBB.
‘Voice Note’ – A life on a tape recorder
Hussain is not afraid of death, which is lurking behind the door of his hospital room. He knows that his time is near and sees death crawling closer with the branches that move with the wind and hears it in the rustling of the leaves. He is struck with a chronic illness but seems at home in the hospital. To escape reality, he uses his tape recorder to document his thoughts. Khalid, an angry young patient, moves into his room. So, what will happen between the two? What did Saudi director Lolwa Al Abdulwahed want to say in this 16-minute film?
Lolwa Al Abdulwahed has a bachelor’s degree in audio-visual communications. She has specialised in research, scriptwriting, and is an independent filmmaker and scriptwriter.
‘The Kite’ – An argument with the wind
How do we build childhood memories? Why cannot we wait to visit our grandparents? Why do we sympathize with frail and old people? Czech director Martin Smatana tries to capture the essence of these emotions in ‘The Kite’, a 13-minute film about a little boy, who treasures his visits to his grandfather’s cottage and becomes sad on seeing his grandfather becoming frail and weak. How does he react to his memories and sadness?
‘The Kite’ was premiered at Berlinale 2019 and won the Best Children’s Film award at ITFS Stuttgart 2019. Born in Slovakia, Martin Smatana finished his master’s in Animation at FAMU, Prague. His debut stop-motion film ‘Rosso Papavero’ premiered at Berlinale in 2015, has been screened at more than 200 film festivals and won 15 international awards.
‘The Elephants Will Be Happy’ – The doomed earth
A robot painting a fresco, a species of walking plants dying out slowly, creatures becoming extinct and other bizarre elements are combined in a surrealistic film that resembles a Salvador Dali work. This film gives us glimpses of life that is playing out in a post-apocalyptic world. We see giant insects living strangely human-like evil lives, as well as a scary and unsettling land from another planet.
The 7-minute film was created by six young French directors who have master’s degrees in the digital direction from the Supinfocom Rubika School in Valenciennes, France.
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