Junior Jurors learn the art of analysis to decide a winning movie



Sharjah, August, 2017


Nearly forty young movie fans have been learning one of the most valuable roles in the film industry – the art of being a credible critic. As the clock counts down to the fifth edition of Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF), running from October 8-13, the youngsters have attended a workshop helping them to not only assess other filmmakers in general but how to use the results to choose the winner of the Best Child-Made Film of the festival.


SICFF, which is organised by FUNN – Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children –offers an extensive programme of film showings, movie workshops and media arts activities, all designed to engage the region’s youth with all aspects of film production and post-screening analysis.


The three-day workshop, which was held at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs,  was attended by 37 children and young people aged 10-19 from Sajaya Young Ladies of Sharjah, Sharjah Girl Guides, Sharjah Youth Centres, Sharjah Children Centres, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children and FUNN. The workshop provided the participants with a full background on FUNN and the progress of SICFF over the years before moving on to the role of film critics and how they can examine individual elements of a film and successfully add to the progress of production.


Following a day of screening three short animation films, the young critics discussed the movies, picked their favourites and gave individual presentations on the highlights and areas for improvements. Some of the attendees then used their new-found knowledge to act as jurors for the Best Child-Made Film from this year’s SICFF entries.


Sheikha Jawaher Bint Abdullah Al Qassimi, Director of FUNN and SICFF, said the workshop is an essential part of the youngsters’ movie making process.


“In an industry which constantly strives for innovation and fresh ideas, critical analysis is vital to ensure the next generation is taking the right path. It is not just a case of whether somebody likes a film, it is about whether there is potential for a new style or the way a story is conveyed to the right audience, there are a thousand factors which can be assessed and addressed.


“As with everything in life, criticism is not necessarily a bad thing, it can help us to improve in our future endeavours and particularly in art, it is important to both give and receive feedback. In this workshop, we instilled not only the ability to be technically aware in film production, but also to have the confidence to express constructive criticism and ultimately make a decision on who deserved to win the award.”


The full list of categories at SICFF is: Best Child-Made Film; Best Student-Made Film; Best GCC Short Film; Best Feature Film; Best International Short Film; Best Documentary Film; and Best Animation Film.


Through SICFF and its other initiatives, FUNN 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 conferences 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.