Interview in brief: Sharjah recently experienced a first of its kind event. Sail eMagazine recently conducted an interview with the organizations behind it to find out more about it.
On October 26th, 2013, Sharjah was all abuzz; particularly in the new building facing the airport. Posters, Styrofoam boards and screens were seen across roads and roundabouts.
Does the scenario ring a bell? Well, if it doesn’t, it was the opening of the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (SICFF), a first of its kind event in the UAE.
This event was the brainchild of FUNN, which is an organization established by Sharjah’s government to promote and support Media Arts for Youth and Children in Sharjah & UAE. The event featured films made ‘by children for children’. Coming from someone who has been involved with FUNN through the many workshops they provide throughout the year, I was not surprised by the talents showcased during the event, as I witnessed some of that talent first-hand, and I am nothing but grateful for such events; as they are nothing but encouraging, motivating and inspiring.
I participated in the last couple of years in the “FUNN Media Arts Exhibition” using the skills I learnt in the digital collage workshop run by Hamdan Al Shamsi (Known on social media as @Hamdaany). I even attended the movie making workshop run by Hamad Saghran, and the Advanced Photography workshop covering both conceptual and macro photography taught by Maysoon Al Ali and Jassim Al Awadhi.
Since I was familiar with the works of these artists before entering the program, it was definitely an opportunity not to be missed. This year, it was held in liaison with the Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival. I was amazed by the quality of work produced by my peers who have participated. Also, I was inspired by the presence of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi and His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi. Such appreciation, devotion, and interest by our leaders further motivates local talent and boosts their potential to new heights.
Sail eMagazine recently conducted and interview with Jawaher Abdullah Al Qassimi, Manager of FUNN and Maysoon Hassan Al Ali, the Film Festival Coordinator.
Sail eMagazine: What is FUNN?
– FUNN: FUNN is an organization established by the Sharjah government, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qassimi, wife of His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, to promote and support Media Art (animation, film making, graphic design etc.) for young children and the youth of Sharjah and UAE through workshops, exhibitions and festivals.
Sail eMagazine: Please tell us a little about yourselves and what you do.
– Jawaher: My name is Jawaher Al Qassimi, I am the eldest child of 4 and I have 3 younger brothers. I graduated with a BA in English Language and Literature in 2003. I am a mother of a 3-year-old son and I am currently expecting another baby on the way. Reading and writing are my favorite hobbies.
– Maysoon: I am Maysoon Hassan. I am the Film Festival Coordinator. I deeply enjoy photography and graphic design; I participated in several art exhibitions and galleries in the past years. I majored in Applied Media Communications in college.
Sail eMagazine: You organize workshops for children throughout the year, what motives do you have when organizing one?
– Jawaher: When organizing these media arts workshops, our main motive is to show these students that we believe in them and in their talents. We aim to nurture their talents and develop them so one day our students will leave FUNN with skills that will enable them to be pioneers in their desired field.
Sail eMagazine: What, in your opinion, is more important, artistic or academic pursuits? Why so?
– Jawaher: Both! It’s literally the best of both worlds! Live your passion! Do what you love for the rest of your life and shine!
– Maysoon: Both! An artist should have general knowledge in addition to extensive research before producing an artwork. The more an artist knows about his topic, the more alive his piece will be.
Sail eMagazine: Why do you think organizations like FUNN are important?
– Jawaher: When I was a teenager I had a camera, and I enjoyed shooting here and there, I looked for places to help me learn and grow and did not find many. FUNN is where children and youth can come to learn and develop their skills, our doors are always open for the passion and creativity the children carry with them.
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