SIFF to highlight courage of stateless kids


siff, sharjah, stateless kids

Dubai - Among the eight short documentaries is also an SIFF original production titled "Safe Zone - 4 Years Later".


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 11 Oct 2019, 11:25 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Oct 2019, 1:40 AM

The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) 2019, taking place at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre (JRCC) from tomorrow until October 18, will highlight stories of young refugees across the world.
Among the eight short documentaries, which highlight the challenges of statelessness posed on community's youngest members, is also an SIFF original production titled "Safe Zone - 4 Years Later".
The 2019 production directed by LA filmmaker, Marco Bollinger, is a 20-minute documentary portraying the everyday lives of a group of adolescent girls Bollinger met at the Saadnayel refugee camp in Lebanon four years ago. He has returned to the camp to teach a video storytelling workshop. The young protagonists of the film have shot much of it themselves, interviewing each other and co-directing with Marco to create a unique perspective on their own lives.
Turning away from the typical refugee story of trauma and pity, the film delves into showcasing who this next generation of Syrian women are becoming, aided by the strength and perspective which has carried them through their exile experience.
Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, director of Funn - the Sharjah-based organisation that promotes media arts learning among children and youth, and SIFF - commented: "Every year, we dedicate the festival platform to familiarise the young audience with stories of people who are forced to flee their own homes because they are no longer safe in there. The inclusion of films with social messages stems from our belief that the young generation should learn about the absolute irrationality of the displacement crisis, and also realise how fortunate they are compared to millions are in their age group.
"Through these films, SIFF's objective is to deliver crucial messages to our children and youth. First, arts' predisposition towards humankind, justice and rights, and its effectiveness as a tool to raise awareness and alter perceptions. Second, the films are an example of how far the qualities of faith, persistence and patience can take us. Our selection of films this year, including SIFF's original production, showcase the universal quality possessed by human beings irrespective of age, culture or qualification - our power to make every odd bow down to our inner strength," she added.

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