Submit a Film — Ajyal Youth Film Festival | Doha Film Institute

Ajyal Youth Film Festival 2016

Official Rules and Regulations – Programming Submissions

  • 1. About the Ajyal Youth Film Festival

    From 29 November – 4 December, 2017, the annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival (the “Festival”) returns for its fifth anniversary installment, building on the Doha Film Institute’s (the “Institute”) history of community-based film programming, the success of the Festival’s previous editions, as well as a year-round screening series. Feature-length and short films from around the world will inspire cultural dialogue among young audiences in Qatar. The six-day Festival will bridge gaps and bring generations together (‘ajyal’ is Arabic for ‘generations’) through activities and events designed to inspire creative interaction among the various sectors of the regional community.

    The Festival format includes the Ajyal Competition, as well as the Made in Qatar section. Alongside the official film programme, the Festival also features Special Screenings, Thematic Tributes, Cinema Under the Stars and the Creativity Hub., The Ajyal Competition, described below, is the core component of the Festival and presents hundreds of young people from around the world with the opportunity to sit on the juries that decide the Festival’s competition winners.

    The Festival is designed to enhance and encourage regional film-related education programmes, making it an engaging, fun experience for families and educators through collective and individual interaction with the medium of cinema. At the same time, the Festival provides an open forum for dialogue and discourse among its many participants, where the full scope of complex issues facing today’s youth can be discussed. This not only empowers the next generation of storytellers, but also gives them a secure platform from which their voices can be heard.

  • 2. Official Film Programme 2017

    Please note: All submissions are subject to the eligibility criteria set out in Article 5 in these Rules and Regulations. All programming decisions and exceptions are made at the sole discretion of the Festival.

    • A.   The Ajyal Competition – The official selection for the Ajyal Competition is divided into two (2) categories:
      • A.   The Feature Film Competition showcases a selection of narrative and documentary films from around the world, for or about youth; and
      • B.   The Short Film Competition features short narrative and documentary films from around the world, for or about youth.

    • B. Ajyal Competition Sections 2017
      • Mohaq (New Moon)
        For jurors 8 to 12 years of age. A Feature and Short Film Competition (documentary and narrative).
      • Hilal (Crescent)
        For jurors 13 to 17 years of age. A Feature and Short Film Competition (documentary and narrative).
      • Bader (Full Moon)
        For jurors 18 to 21 years of age. A Feature and Short Film Competition (documentary and narrative).
    • C.   Made in Qatar
      A showcase of films shot in Qatar or made by individuals of any nationality who currently reside in Qatar.
    • D. Bariq (Sparkle)
      For jurors-in-training (aged 4 to 7) and their families. A short film programme dedicated to our youngest audience members.
    • E. Special Screenings
      A selection of diverse films including Opening Night, Tributes, Cinema Under the Stars and Themed Screenings.
    • 3. Festival Awards 2017

      Winners are awarded a film development award through the Ajyal Film Fund. All development awards are open to documentary and narrative films.


      Development Awards:

      • A. Mohaq (New Moon) Short Film Competition
        Mohaq Best Short Film Award: USD 5,000

      • B. Mohaq (New Moon) Feature Film Competition
        Mohaq Best Feature Film Award: USD 15,000

      • C. Hilal (Crescent) Short Film Competition
        Hilal Best Short Film Award: USD 5,000

      • D. Hilal (Crescent) Feature Film Competition
        Hilal Best Feature Film Award: USD 15,000

      • E. Bader (Full Moon) Short Film Competition
        Bader Best Short Film Award: USD 5,000

      • F. Bader (Full Moon) Feature Film Competition
        Bader Best Feature Film Award: USD 15,000

      • G. Made in Qatar
        Best Narrative Award: USD 5,000
        Best Documentary Award: USD 5,000
        Narrative Jury Award: USD 3,000
        Documentary Jury Award: USD 3,000

      • H. Ajyal Audience Award
        Award winners will be contacted after the Festival with further details. All Festival awards are presented to the winning film’s director, who accepts the award on behalf of the film.
    • 4. Key Dates

      • 22 June, 2017 – Festival submissions open
      • 20 August, 2017 – Ajyal Competition submissions close
      • 21 September, 2017 – Made in Qatar submissions close
      • Mid-October, 2017 – applicants are advised of the status of their entry
      • 29 November – 4 December, 2017 – Ajyal Youth Film Festival takes place
    • 5. Eligibility for Entry – Terms and Conditions

      • A. Prior Release and Broadcast
        • A. Films submitted to the Festival should not have been released or publicly exhibited in the State of Qatar prior to the Festival’s 2017 edition. Exceptions shall be determined by the Festival at its sole discretion;
        • B. Films submitted to the Festival should not have been publicly broadcast prior to the final date of the Festival’s 2017 edition (via television, Internet, video on demand, in-flight entertainment or otherwise). Films may have been publicly broadcast prior to the Festival’s 2017 edition on a non-commercial websites only and for a limited period (e.g. as part of an online-only film festival). Exceptions shall be determined by the Festival at its sole discretion.
      • B. Ajyal Competition
        Submissions to the Ajyal Competition are open to short films only. An Arab director must be attached to the film (includes Arab diaspora). “Arab nationality” shall mean people from any of Algeria, Bahrain, the Comoros Islands, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates or Yemen.

        Feature films shall be selected for the Festival by invitation only. Exceptions shall be determined by the Festival at its sole discretion.

      • C. Age-Appropriateness

        Age-appropriateness is based on a film’s subject matter and content, not on the age of the filmmaker(s) and/or cast. Films submitted to the Festival shall be selected for the appropriate section(s) at the Festival’s sole discretion.

        • A. Mohaq – jurors 8 to 12 years of age
        • B. Hilal – Jurors 13 to 17 years of age
        • C. Bader – Jurors 18 to 21 years of age
        • D. Bariq – Jurors 4 to 7 years of age
      • D. Made in Qatar

        • A. The Made in Qatar section is open to narrative or documentary films of any length
        • B. The writer, director or producer must be a Qatari national or other holding a valid residence permit in Qatar; or
        • C. The majority of the film must be shot in Qatar; or
        • D. The film’s story must revolve around Qatar.
      • E. Compliance with Entry Rules & Regulations and Release & Agreement
        • A. To be eligible for consideration, all entrants must comply fully with these Entry Rules & Regulations, including deadline(s) and submission of entry material and selected film requirements.
        • B. Entrants are required to execute a release and agreement which will (among other things):
          1. Permit the Festival (and the Institute) to screen the film during the Festival;
          2. Accept responsibility for obtaining any and all clearances necessary to exhibit the film at the Festival;
          3. Warrant that the entrant has the rights necessary to exhibit the film at the Festival; and
          4. Indemnify the Institute and its affiliates against any claim arising out of the exhibition of the film during the Festival.
        • F. English-Language Dialogue or Subtitles

          To be eligible for consideration, all non-English-language works must have English-language subtitles and be accompanied by an industry standard time-coded English-language dialogue list.

        • G. Running Time
          Feature films must have a running time of no less than 60 minutes. Short films must have a running time of no more than 20 minutes. Exceptions shall be made at the sole discretion of the Festival.
    • 6. Juries – Decisions and Awards

      • A. All awards will be awarded by a jury, the composition of which will be at the sole discretion of the Festival; and
      • B. The Ajyal Competition juries are comprised of young men and women 8 to 21 years of age; and
      • C. The Made in Qatar jury is comprised of industry professionals;
      • D. The Audience Award will be determined by tallying popular ballots;
      • E. Eligibility for the Audience Award: All feature films selected in Ajyal 2017 Official Film Programme with the exception of the Opening Night film, the Kids Red Carpet film and films screened as part of the Cinema Under the Stars section are eligible for the Audience Award.
      • F. Audience Award ballots are distributed to audiences at the public screening of each eligible film. Ballots request that audiences rate the film out of five. Cumulative ballots for all eligible titles are then collected and counted;
      • G. The decisions of the juries and public are final;
      • H. All Festival awards are presented to the winning film’s director, who accepts the award on behalf of the film.
    • 7. Selection Procedure

      The Institute will solely appoint a selection committee to review submitted films. The committee decides the official selection of films to be screened during the Festival and in which section each film will be screened.

    • 8. How to Enter

      • A.   No entry fee is required to submit a film to the Festival.
      • B.  Entries to the Ajyal Film Competition must be submitted and film copies must be sent on or before 19 August, 2017, and entries to the Made in Qatar section must be submitted and film copies must be sent on or before 23 September, 2017, by completing the entry form and adding a link with password for the film.
      • C.  Film copies must be sent on or before the deadlines noted in ‘B’, above. Film copies must be sent by private link either for streaming or download. (There is a dedicated space for this information in the submission form)
      • D.  Rough cuts or works-in-progress may be submitted to the Made in Qatar section ONLY. The film MUST BE identified as such on the entry form. If selected, confirmation must be received no later than 23 September, 2017, that the film will be complete with appropriate subtitles no later than 31 October, 2017.
      • E.  All submissions must include a private link to the film and English subtitles must appear on non-English language films.
      • F.  Submission of a film for selection implies unconditional acceptance of these Rules & Regulations.
    • 9. Invited Works

      • A.  Festival programmers select and invite all films presented at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival. Invited filmmakers will be notified in mid-October 2017. Most correspondence will be sent via email.

      • B.  Requirements and Information for Selected Films: The rights holder must fulfill the following requirements by the date(s) designated by the Festival upon acceptance of the Festival’s official invitation:

        • A.   Execute a release and agreement wherein the rights holder:
          1. • Permits the Festival (and the Institute) to exhibit the film during the Festival;
          2. • Accepts responsibility for obtaining any and all necessary clearances to exhibit the film during the Festival;
          3. • Warrants that the rights holder holds the rights necessary to exhibit the film at the Festival; and
          4. • Indemnifies the Doha Film Institute and its affiliates against any claim arising out of the exhibition of the film during the Festival.
        • B.   Once invited, submitted works may not be re-edited or changed significantly without explicit discourse between the submitter and the Festival. Should work be altered in any major way (length, overall narrative and subject matter etc.) without prior notification and/or approvals, the Festival reserves the right to pull said work from the programme.

      • C.   Arrange for delivery of the exhibition copy of the invited work in one of the exhibition formats specified below to the address designated by the Festival. The Festival arranges and covers the costs for one-way shipping of the print or video. The Institute recommends shipment via courier in order to permit tracking of the film.
        1. • Permitted feature film exhibition formats are 35mm, DCP on CRU drive and HDCAM
        2. • Permitted short film exhibition formats are DCP and Apple Pro Res 422
        3. • The Festival does not accept digital files such as H.264or .mov files or DVD as exhibition formats under any circumstances
        4. • Films in competition may be required to provide a second exhibition copy to accommodate jury screenings
        5. • The Festival may request additional exhibition copies to allow for multiple screenings at more than one venue
        6. • Back-up exhibition copies must also be in a permitted exhibition formats. Other formats cannot be accepted
      • D.  Provide a properly completed and signed official Festival “Film Information Form”, as well as all press and publication assets as specified in the “Materials Checklist”.
      • E.  Provide at least one copy of the finalised and completed film for the Festival’s archive.

      Many thanks for your interest in the Doha Film Institute and the Ajyal Youth Film Festival. We look forward to receiving your submission!


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