Arada ties up with Sharjah International Film Festival for Children & Youth to bring monthly screenings to Aljada

17 August 2020

• Cultural partnership will result in wide range of Arabic-language films being shown at Sharjah’s only drive-in cinema
• Screenings to kick off at 8pm Thursday 20 August with three short films by Gulf directors

Arada has teamed up with Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children (FUNN) to bring Sharjah International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFF) to Aljada, the Emirate’s most exciting new destination. The partnership between the two organisations will see a carefully curated selection of films by Arabic directors being screened on a monthly basis at Movie Nights at Aljada, the megaproject’s drive in cinema.

Founded in 2013, SIFF is the first film festival in the Middle East that is dedicated to children and youth, and is managed by FUNN, an organisation established by the Government of Sharjah under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah. The festival is designed to showcase the very best in filmmaking that is for, by and about children and young people, as well as raising their media literacy and creativity.

HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Arada, said: “This is the first stage in our partnership with SIFF and matches perfectly with Arada’s wider plan to create communities that engage and inspire their residents. Sharjah has already been named as the world’s first Child-Friendly City by UNICEF, and we are proud to be working with SIFF to enrich the existing family-friendly landscape in the Emirate.”

Sheikha Jawaher bint Abdullah Al Qasimi, Director of FUNN and Sharjah International Film Festival for Children & Youth, said: “We are delighted to take this opportunity to bring an amazing selection of films to a wider audience, particularly children and youth. Our expectation is that these evenings will become a highlight of Sharjah’s social and cultural calendar, and that this partnership with Arada will have a major impact on the attractiveness of an Emirate that is already well-known as capital for the arts throughout the Arab world. At FUNN, our constant endeavour is to offer new avenues to the younger generation to fuel their interest in media arts through a deeper exploration of the way Arabs working in the field are enhancing the cinematic and artistic prowess of our region. This partnership certainly takes our efforts to the next level.”

The partnership will kick off at 8pm on Thursday 20 August, and entry to the cinema is free on a first-come, first-served basis. For the opening night, SIFF has selected three short films that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Kuwaiti director Meshal Alhulail’s 33-minute film Our Neighbour Bu Hamad is based on Khaled’s discovery that his eccentric next-door neighbour is working on a teleportation device that has the potential to throw his world into chaos.

Directed by Kuwait’s Yousef Al Bagshi, Sandarah is a seven-minute animated tale about a simple young photographer who is forced to join the army to invade another country, but then finds himself in a weird and confusing situation that compels him to take a fast and decisive decision.

Violin, helmed by Saudi director Abdulaziz Al Shalahi, is a 38-minute film that tells the story of Khalid, who finds himself confronting an internal conflict for mixing his religious beliefs with his daily life.

Further screenings will take place every month, with details available on Movie Nights at Aljada’s dedicated website. Visitors to the cinema will be allocated specific parking spaces, depending on the size of their car, and will be able to access to the movie by tuning their car radios to 87.7 FM.

Spread over a 24 million square foot plot in Muwaileh, in the heart of New Sharjah, Aljada is the Emirate’s largest mixed-use community. The drive-in cinema is located in Madar at Aljada, an entertainment district opened on 27 February by HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the entertainment district contains the Zad food district, the Aljada Discovery Centre, a children’s adventure playground, a skatepark and an amphitheatre.

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