The sixth edition of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF 2018) will be hosting six panel discussions for the first time in the history of the festival, featuring industry experts and professionals, where issues of refugees and the role of cinema in shaping public opinion will take centerstage.
A session titled “Empowering Talent’ will be conducted by members of the SICFF’s jury panels, which includes Arab and international filmmakers and actors, as well as directors of films competing for the SICFF Awards.
The panelists will touch upon the fundamentals of the movie industry and address challenges facing talented people. They will address the use of modern technologies to develop content.
The panel discussion titled ‘Disney World between Past and Present’ will be conducted by Brian Ferguson, an animator from Walt Disney Animation Studios, who will brief the audience about The Lion King, one of the most important animation films he worked on.
Sharing his personal experience, Ferguson will talk about the different steps in animation, from conception to the release. He will also discuss about his work at Disney, as well as how can such films contribute to creating new perceptions and influence people worldwide.
The ‘Filmmaking with Refugees’ panel will bring together Lebanese filmmaker Diaa Mulaeb and animation artist Simon Medard from Camera-etc animation studio who will highlight the role of films in documenting the plight of refugees as well as raising understanding and awareness of the refugee crisis.
Another session titled ‘Films Inspired by Refugees’ Stories’ will screen a selection of short films based on true stories of refugee children across various countries such as Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Some of these films have been directed by filmmakers with support from UNICEF and UNHCR, while some others have been directed by refugee children themselves.
The audience can immerse in discussions about the ‘Cinema between Past and Present” session, which will engage Bahraini Jury members, including author Hamad Al Shehabi, filmmaker Mohammed Ibrahim and movie critic Mansura Abdul Amir. They will highlight the most important transformations experienced via films throughout history.
Emirati actor-filmmaker Abdullah Al Humairi will present the ‘Film Industry in the Times of Social Media’ during which he will highlight the impact of social media on cinema and the challenges in filmmaking via social media channels.
The panel discussions will be open to the Children’s Jury, which includes 49 children and young adults, who have been selected to participate in the discussion. The children will be trained to select the winners of the ‘Best Child-Made Film’ competition.