The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) has announced a new batch of nine international movies from seven countries available for free streaming on its website www.siff.ae until the end of May. The online streaming platform emphasises SIFF’s commitment to bring the magic of cinema to young generations during the #StayHome period in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new movies on the portal include Alike, a 9-minute film by Spanish director Rafa Cano Méndez which revolves around Copi, a father who tries to teach his son, Paste, the right ways to master life. In Dust Bodies, Beth Tomashek and Sam Wade talk about a young woman who is on a mission to clear her house of dust. After she catches some of the dust bunnies, one of them stands up and rescues his friends from her vacuum cleaner.
Sadeya left Sultan by Saudi Arabia’s Jawaher Alamri is a poignant tale of Sultan, an out-of-work doctor who is desperate to meet his daughter after his marriage breaks down. The unlikely discovery of Sadeya, a puppet, sets in motion a plan. He brings her to life and reaches out to his daughter with the puppet’s help. Meanwhile, the 4-minute American film, You Look Scary by Xiya Lan, talks about our tendency to sometimes amplify our fears. The movie centres around what happens to a crocodile when he visits the dentist.
German director Benjamin Gutsche enthralls with Zombriella, a 15-minute film about Miko, who wakes up terrified from a terrible nightmare where he is haunted by zombies. When he decides to challenge his nightmare, he gets to know Zombriella and creates a strong friendship that helps him to overcome his fears. Iranian director Behzad Rafiei’s long film, Ranna Silence, is a heartwarming tale of a seven-year-old girl with a special hen, Kakoli. When the hen is killed by a jackal, it leads Ranna into depression and she becomes dumb.
In A Hole, Mexican director Maribel Suarez weaves a tale about a young girl who is intrigued by a little hole that grabs her attention when she visits her farm. Her attempts make it her playmate end in vain until after a rainy day, a plant grows out of the hole that changes the life of the girl and makes her happier.
Saudi director Musab Alamri’s 14-minute film Coexistence revolves around two Muslim immigrant students in America sharing a homestay. As crazy football fans, they hit it off right from the beginning. However, as the day unwinds, politics intervenes, and things take a dramatic turn when they realise they belong to two different Muslim sects.
Green, a 10-minute film by Lucas Camps, tells the story of a young boy who has an interview at the Fine Arts College. On his way, he comes across a long line of people waiting at a seemingly everlasting red traffic light where people refuse to let him pass. Will he be able to cross through while people are busy, or will he have to continue to wait with them?
Commenting on the new batch of films, Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of SIFF, said: “The amazing uptake of the first batch of movies we made available prompted us to bring in another selection of incredible films targeting all members of the family, especially to enliven their leisure time during the #StayHome regulations currently in place. We are certain that the excellent range of creative works of international directors will keep families entertained and provide inspiration during these challenging times.”
“Our selection of curated films had always enthralled SIFF visitors. Hence, we sought to stream them online to give viewers a chance to relive the festival’s setting from the comfort of their homes, and to take our young audience on an amazing journey into the beautiful world of films even while being confined to their homes,” she added.