UAE: Virtual film fest for kids opens with a heartwarming story

Afkar Abdullah /Sharjah Filed on October 11, 2021
Emirati filmmaker Nahla Al Fahad at the opening of the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth. — Supplied photo

Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth begins with South Korean film Bori

Heads up, kids: The Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF) is back — and all the movies and activities it has prepared for this edition will be available online. All you have to do is register on

The SIFF kicked off its virtual edition on Sunday evening with the Middle East premiere of the unique, charming South Korean film ‘Bori’. Directed by Kim Jin-yu, the movie narrated the story of Bori whose entire family is deaf and mute. She is the only one who can talk and hear in their silent household, so she constantly prays to go deaf, too. The film focuses on the young girl’s struggle to fit in with her own family.

It was a movie that perfectly captured the SIFF’s mission of introducing the youth to a global understanding of how people from different cultures, religions and backgrounds live together.

Through the years, SIFF had grown into a truly unique and exclusive platform for young generations to explore the media arts, said Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, director of FUNN–Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children, the organiser of the festival.

“Films have gifted us fascinating and unforgettable moments. At times, they serve as a shield in the face of challenges and become a bridge that helps us reach out to and communicate with people, especially from other cultures,” said Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah, who is also the director of SIFF.

She added: “The 8th edition of SIFF will be exceptional, held virtually to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. We have a programme agenda, which I’m sure will not only meet, but exceed your ambitions and artistic vision.”

Other personalities who attended the opening ceremony were Emirati filmmaker Nahla Al Fahad; Syrian actor Abed Fahed; and Yahya Mahayni, a Syrian actor and writer whose moving performance in 2021 Oscar-nominated film The Man Who Sold His Skin won him international acclaim.

“SIFF has always played a key role in enhancing the media literacy of children and young people who are the hope of our future. Let us remember that it is our responsibility to increase their awareness and enrich their culture,” said Fahed.

Al Fahad thanked Sharjah for the opportunities it gave children and youth to experience culture and the arts.

“Every family may have a potential writer, director, cinematographer or producer, and festivals such as SIFF are important tools to bring their talents to the fore and enrich the medium,” she said.

Afkar Abdullah

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