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Laughter and inspiration with animated features and documentaries tomorrow (Saturday) at the 5th Ajyal Youth Film Festival

Dec 01, 2017

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Screening of Sheikh Mohammad Abdulla Al-Thani’s mountaineering attempt in Alaska.

Doha, Qatar; Dec 1, 2017: Tomorrow (Saturday Dec. 2) the fifth Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, offers a mixture of family fare, animated features and inspiring documentaries, as well as a special programme for differently-abled cinemagoers.

In partnership with the Translation and Interpreting Institute of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Nora Al-Subai’s Al-Johara (Qatar / 2016) and A.J. Al Thani’s Kashta (Qatar / 2016) will be made accessible to visually impaired, deaf, hard-of-hearing and viewers with difficulty understanding speech, through audio descriptions of visual elements and enriched subtitles in both Arabic and English that include information about sound effects and music, as well as sign-language interpretation. Programme screens Sat 2 Dec. / 5:00 PM.

A gentle family comedy directed by Joachim Dollhopf and Evi Goldbrunner At Eye Level (Germany / 2016) tells the story of ten-year-old Michi, who has grown up without a father. After his mother dies, Michi finds an unsent letter announcing her pregnancy, addressed to a man called ‘Tom’ but when father and son are reunited, Tom isn’t exactly the person Michi imagined him to be. Screens Sat 2 Dec. / 9:00 PM.

Elia Youssef’s The Seventh Summit (Lebanon, Nepal, Qatar, USA, UAE / 2016) tells the dramatic and inspiring story of Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani – avid mountaineer and the first Qatari to reach the summit of Mount Everest – and his fellow climbers, amongst them Palestinian climber, Suzanne al Houby, as they attempt to climb Alaska’s Mount Denali. The team’s goal is to claim one of toughest mountaineering titles, the Seven Summits Challenge, gained after climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents and which to date, fewer than 350 people have succeeded in doing. Screens Sat 2 Dec. / 6:30 PM.

Directed by Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (France /2016) is an assembly of quick jokes, brilliantly timed silliness and madcap antics set in the Honeysuckle Theatre, where a troupe of animal actors set out to stage three plays. The pratfalls, unlikely situations and visual gags that follow make this animated feature a rollicking experience. Screens Sat 2 Dec. / 1:30 PM.

In Looking for Oum Kulthum (Germany, Austria, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar / 2017), Shirin Neshat sets out to examine the life and legacy of the legendary Egyptian singer, the “Star of the East”, who was an icon of mid-century Arab culture and the voice of the Arab World for many. Rather than exploring a figure of such magnitude directly, Neshat takes the wider view, resulting in a film that is much more than a standard biopic. *Screens Sat 2 Dec. / 9:00 PM *

A selection of international short films, Another Reality permits glimpses of life around the world, from an Iraqi man who wonders if he can still believe in the country he loves and a daughter exploring her mother’s involvement in China’s Cultural Revolution to the dilemma of the child bride, each of the seven films question received wisdom and prevailing ‘realities’, in one way or another. Screens Sat 2 Dec. / 9:45 PM.

Tomorrow is the final chance to see The Breadwinner (Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg/2017) the animated story of a young Afghani girl, Parvana, who is forced to risk her life by dressing as a boy to find work to support her family after her father is unfairly imprisoned. Screens Sat 2 Dec. / 8:30 PM.

There is a wide range of family activities available as part of the Ajyal 2017 Family Weekend, open from 3 PM to 8 PM on Katara Esplanade. Also from 10 AM to 10 PM, take part in Geekdom, a pop culture feast of comics, cosplay, movies, TV series and video games and LeBlockade, a multimedia celebration of Qatar’s cultural resilience at Katara Buildings 18 and 19.

Head to Katara Drama Theatre at 6 PM for the third of the Ajyal Talks to hear Sky Neal, documentary filmmaker, Elhum Shakerifar, producer and filmmaker, Dr. Mohammad Y. Mattar, professor of Law at Qatar University and Jenna Dawson-Faber, UN representative, as they explore the wider context of the stories of the children featured in Kate McLarnon and Sky Neal’s Even When I Fall (UK/2017), which was shown at the festival on December 1. A further example of Ajyal using the power of cinema to highlight global issues, ‘*Against Child Trafficking*’ will also permit audiences to hear first-hand from two of the child survivors who appeared in the film.

Tickets are priced QR25 for general screening, and are available for purchase 24 hours a day at ajyalfilm.com or from the Ajyal Katara Main Box Office in Katara Building 12 or Ajyal FNAC Ticket Outlet, FNAC Qatar at Doha Festival City.

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival is made possible thanks to its partners: Katara Cultural Village as its Cultural Partner; Qatar Tourism Authority is the Strategic Partner, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Ooredoo are the Principal Partners. For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit