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Emirates News Agency – Independent films allow maximum creative freedom, SIFF 2021 panel says

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SHARJAH, October 13, 2021 (WAM) – A panel discussion titled “Independent Films” held last night at the 8th Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF 2021), provided attendees with a unique opportunity to reflect on the evolution of the role of independent films and their impact on regional cinema.

Big names from the UAE and regional industry participated in the virtual discussion. These were Khaled Al Mahmoud, an award-winning Emirati filmmaker who studied film in the United States and whose work has been shown at prestigious festivals around the world; Egyptian director, screenwriter and producer Sherif Elbendary, whose short film “Curfew” premiered at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival; Dubai and Berlin-based filmmaker and creative consultant Mahmoud Kaabour, whose multilingual productions have been shown at top festivals around the world, and Hana Kazim, local film and television manager at Image Nation Abu Dhabi .

Renowned Emirati actor and director Nawaf Al Janahi moderated the session. His feature film “Sea Shadow” (2011) has traveled to 27 countries, which is considered the most notable tour for an Emirati feature film to date.

Speaking about the need to popularize the culture of private funding to promote this genre, Kazim noted, “Independent cinema thrives with private funding that doesn’t exist in studio films. path to becoming an independent film director. These films attract important directors who deal with subjects that transport our culture and creativity to the rest of the world. ”

Elbendary said independent films mean directors have creative freedom because they can make the film without any influence. They have the luxury of choosing the subject and type of production and setting the goals of the film.

Al Mahmoud agreed with Elbendary’s point of view and said he linked the extent of creative freedom in independent films to the source of funding. He said if there was a source of funding it could force the director to do something that could compromise the independence of the film.

Defining independent films, Kaabour compared the process of crafting an independent film idea to that of a doctoral student who chose a thesis topic. The difference, according to him, is that a film is the collective release of groups. Each of them is held responsible for a certain aspect of the film.

In the coming days of SIFF 2021, film and media experts from the region and around the world will host more panel discussions on topics as exciting and diverse as the role of women in cinema, the future of the industry. cinematographic, the role of festivals in the promotion of films and the evolution of animation in production.

The festival ends on October 15, 2021 and the entire program comprising 80 film screenings including six world premieres, 34 workshops and five round tables can be attended online for free by registering at this link: https: // siff. ae /.