After five intense days of screening and discussions, the jurors of the Doha Film Experience Competition at the inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival have made their difficult decisions and the winning films have been announced during the pomp and circumstance of this evening’s closing ceremony – an extravaganza of light, music, performance and (of course!) fireworks!!!!!
A series of 11 short films were included in the Festival’s Bariq (meaning ‘sparkle’ in Arabic) section. These films were not part of Ajyal’s official competition, but the screening gave our youngest audiences the opportunity to learn what being a juror is all about and they were asked to choose their favourite, which was ‘MACROPOLIS’, directed by Joel Simon.
The Made in Qatar Award, a prize given to a filmmaker who is a Qatari national or calls Qatar home, was selected by an international jury. The award went to Nora Al-Subai, for ‘My Hero’.
Jurors for the Mohaq (‘new moon’ in Arabic) section are ages 8 to 12. Over the last four days, they watched two feature films and a programme of eight shorts, and awarded the Best Short Filmmaker award in their section to Satsuki Okawa for her ‘Little Kyota Neon Hood’.
Hilal (‘crescent’) jurors, aged 13 to 17, determined awards from four feature and six short films. The results: the Best Short Filmmaker award went to Colombia’s Giovanni Granada for ‘The Invention’, while Dutch director David Schram took home the Best Feature Filmmaker award for his ‘Regret’.
Ajyal’s oldest group of jurors, the Bader (‘full moon’) jury, aged 18 to 21, also gave two awards, after deliberating on four features and eight shorts. The Best Short Filmmaker prize was awarded to Kuwaiti director Meshal Alhulail for ‘Men’s Barbershop’, and George Tillman, Jr. was named Best Feature Filmmaker for ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete’.
We at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival offer our congratulations to all the winners of the competition, and our heartfelt thanks to our extraordinary group of jurors. We’re sad that the excitement has come to an end – but we are already looking forward to Ajyal 2014.
See you at the movies!