Al Sidr Environmental Film Festival is a special 2-day film festival themed WATER مياه; featuring films from across the world examining diverse issues surrounding water.

This year’s special program, on the occasion of COP 28, is supported by the Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi and The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi. Speakers and films will connect to the agenda of COP 28 and issues of climate change.

See the full festival lineup here.

Lyric nonverbal cinema discovers intriguing relationships with seaweed in the Pacific Ocean of Chile, and a short experimental documentary based in the mid-Atlantic Ocean exploring the relationship between human and non-human in the age of Mass extinction.

This screening is supported by Institut Francais.

This first screening features the following films:

  • Presentation on Water and Activism by Rasha Saleh, Environmentalist, and founder of Enta Green
  • The Whelming Sea

Directed by Sean Hanley (US) – 27 min

Three animal lives entangle at the edge of the sea. Horseshoe crabs spawn on eroded urban beaches, migrating shorebirds seek sustenance at a midpoint, and humans attempt to make a difference in this age of mass extinction.

  • The First Days

Directed by Stéphane Breton (France) – 74 min

You have found yourself at the edge of the desert. The ocean was hitting hard. The beauty of chaos left you speechless. The strength of the gestures too, and the grace of the pebbles. You continued to be silent. What came out of Cuacua’s and Loco-loco’s mouths sounded like the sound of the waves. You listened to them with your eyes. You weren’t sure of what was happening, you were seeing it or hearing it. Music is born from the marriage of noise with silence.


Stéphane Breton (France)

Stéphane Breton is a French filmmaker, photographer, and ethnologist. He shoots documentary essays alone that take place in the folds and hems of the modern world, taking care of the picture, the sound; the whole shebang. Le Ciel dans un jardin (2004), a melancholic journey into the mountains of New Guinea, was awarded the prize for the best documentary of the year by the Société civile des auteurs multimédia. Breton is also Directeur d’études at the EHESS in Paris.

Sean Hanley (US)

Sean Hanley is a New York City based director and cinematographer working primarily in documentary and artist moving images. His short films navigate the construction of Nature through studies of landscape, place-making, and the experience of the non-human. They have screened at venues and festivals including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, FLEXfest, Antimatter, the Aurora Picture Show, UnionDocs, the Imagine Science Film Festival, and the Paris Festival for Different and Experimental Cinema.

Rasha Salah

Rasha Saleh is an environmentalist, adventurer and content creator born and raised in the UAE. She aspires to spread environmental awareness, empower communities and inspire individuals through education, experiences and communication. She is the founder of a sustainable tourism start-up called Enta Green Journeys and was selected between 140,000 applicants to join AirBnb’s Antarctic Sabbatical in 2019 for environmental research.