THE Sahar International Short Film Festival makes its return this year as an online event for the first time.
The Festival has been running since 2014, screening short films by emerging and experienced film makers from across the globe at venues in Saddleworth and Oldham in collaboration with Sahar Ansari, a young artist and member of Festival Management.
It was Sahar’s idea to stream this year’s event online due to Covid-19 restrictions and the Festival runs from December 15 to 20.
Martin Gleeson, one of the Sahar Film Festival management team, said: “Like many other organisations in the creative arts, the pandemic has forced the Festival to review its mode of format.”
“The combined 6th and 7th Festival shows how modern technology and ‘the show must go on’ tradition can combine to produce much-needed cultural value in this stressful time of crisis.”
Chief Executive and Festival creator, Mandana Ansari, has established a competition section of 10 films, produced by film makers based in Iran, India, Singapore, The Philippines and Germany.
She explained: “There are another five films in the non-competition section to enjoy. There are some magnificent and thoughtful poetic and art films worth watching at any time.”
The theme for this year’s Festival is ‘films about and for the young generation’, which is reflected in many of the selections.
Films which are suitable for children to watch are clearly identified on the Sahar Festival website. Others may be unsuitable and are rated according to the standard cinematic classifications.
Martin commented: “The films are available to stream online from December 15-20 and audience members can take part in the online poll for the Audience Award for the best film in the Competition section.”
Mandana added: “As well as the films being available online, we are holding a series of interactive discussions and presentations in spotlight on the film makers and audience members who are able to take part.
“We hope this will compensate for the lack of “cinematic experience” which being in a theatre creates, but there may be an overall benefit from the Festival becoming more accessible to all.”
Participate in the festival by visiting the Sahar International Short Film Festival website. There are no fees to pay, and no registration is needed.