Yesterday was the final day of the inaugural edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival and boy, it went out with a bang!
As the public enjoyed the interactivity and creativity at the Family Weekend activities, as well as screenings of ‘When I Saw You’, ‘Wajma’, ‘Kauwboy’, ‘Flying Paper’ and even an additional screening of ‘Justin and the Knights of Valour’ by popular demand, for our hard-working jurors it was decision time.
Each jury group screened their programmes of short films and, at the end of it, had a lively discussion to select winners for each category.
It was a difficult choice to make, and – in many cases – a very close call.
Soon after, they were escorted to the Sony Open-Air Cinema for rehearsal time, in order to get ready for the grand finale.
Skillfully presented by Ajyal’s own Reem Saleh and Hamad Al-Amari, the closing night show kicked off at 8:00 PM.
Dressed up as glowing warriors from different tribes (orange for Mohaq; green for Hilal; blue for Bader), the jurors paraded in front of an ecstatic audience, whose enthusiasm never waned from the moment the Mohaq kids burst out of a giant box of popcorn. To their great delight, many of the youngsters also had active onstage duties throughout the show, while the others took their seats in the centre of the audience, their excitement evidenced by their outbursts of tribal chanting.
After the awards were all presented – check out the winners here – and Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Al-Kather and Ajyal Festival Director Fatma Al Remaihi had delivered heartfelt addresses, an awe-inspiring, no-holds-barred extravaganza of colour and acrobatics gripped the audience – a spectacle all the more amazing because it was largely inspired by the jurors themselves, as during the Festival they had created their tribal avatars via mobile app. Mohaq were represented by an angelfish; Hilal by a falcon; and Bader by an oryx.
Then, a suspended human pyramid effervesced 100 metres above the heads of the utterly entranced audience, followed by a jaw-dropping sequence of fireworks, providing Doha’s waterfront with a pyrotechnical display of unmatched proportions.
When all was said and done, an electric sky still shimmering with sparkle and glitters was matched by the still-glowing faces of hundreds of young jurors. Along with a hint of melancholy for the end of this incredible experience, we could detect the hundreds of wonderful memories just settling in their hearts, and an eagerness to experience it all over again. Twelve months seems like a long time, but they pass by faster than we realise. Good things come to those who wait … and Ajyal 2014 is just around the corner.
Check out day 5 of the festival in pictures “here”:http://www.dohafilminstitute.com/photos/day-5-ajyal-youth-film-festival-in-pictures