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  • Writer's pictureSfagsi Pictures

Attending my first film festival!!

Updated: Apr 14

“Odd One Out” was selected into the Sharjah film festival and I was invited as the director to the film festival. This would entail me going to Sharjah, an emirate in the UAE by myself for a week. I was very frightened to go to another country alone for the first time, especially a fairly far away!

I took the journey from Heathrow to Dubai international airport, when I got there I was greeted and taken to the hotel we were staying at, the hotel being Sharjah Centro. On this journey I met and spoke with Marc Munden who directed “The Secret Garden” which was also selected at the film festival. I went into my hotel room where I had a king sized bed and a view of the pool. At the hotel we were treated to buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's good to say I was living in luxury!

On the first full day, 10th of October, we attended a welcoming lunch. This was where I made my friends that I stayed with during the trip. They were a mix of 2D and 3D animators and some other filmmakers. After that we went to the festival's convention centre, which was incredible. The bright colours and spacious location really made for a special experience.

At the convention centre we attended the opening ceremony which really set the tone for the rest of the event and as someone who had never been to a film festival it really felt surreal with all the big cameras!

On the 11th, 12th and 13th we watched a range of short films and feature films that were screened. “Odd One Out” was screened on the 13th alongside other short films that were in the child and youth category. We also had a Q&A section where I answered some questions about the themes of the short film.

This was super cool not only to watch it alongside others but also answering questions about the project!

Then on the 14th, the most memorable day, I went on a trip with my friends around Dubia, obviously not included as a part of the film festivals scheduling. We first went to this cool flower garden!

We made sure to take plenty of photos! (*Photo bomber on the far right*)

We then took the monorail to the palm islands to get some lunch.

After lunch we visited La Mar, an outside shopping centre that is right by the sea.

To end the trip off we visited Dubai mall and then saw the Burj Khalifa which was massive!!!

Saturday the 15th, the last day of the festival, we attended the closing ceremony. This honestly felt like the Oscars, it was very professional.

It was great to see all the winners of the categories and then tuck into the dinner made for us!

The last day we headed to the airport and me and my friends all said our goodbyes. It was great to get to know new people and gain from their experience in what they do.

Overall the trip made me grow a lot, I went to my first international film festival, I travelled on my own for the first time and I made new friends. I am glad I went and I want to thank SIFF and all the friends I made on the way for the experience!


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