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Five Reasons Your Kids Should Be Part of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival

Oct 31, 2013

With the magic and excitement of Eid vacation now a distant memory, the folks at the Doha Film Institute have conspired to give kids and adults alike one big, filmtastic getaway – right here in Doha. It doesn’t matter if you are eight or 78, the Ajyal Youth Film Festival has at least five excellent reasons why parents should consider enrolling their kids as jurors in this international treasure trove of cinematic goodness. We have also included a few tips on how to sell kids or young adults on everything Ajyal.

1. Ajyal is the first of its kind.

The Institute has developed the Doha Film Experience specifically for three key age groups: Mohaq (for 8- to 12-year-olds), Hilal (13- to 17-year-olds) and Bader (18- to 21-year-olds), each of which will experience the inaugural edition of this fun-filled festival. From 26 to 30 November, youth from Qatar and around the world will gain unprecedented access to the film festival experience. One of the greatest aspects of participating in Ajyal is that it allows youth to shape future Ajyal editions and contribute to supporting a strong, vibrant film culture in the region.

How to sell Ajyal to young adults: Being part of history is cool.

2. There are unique films for every age group.

Having searched every corner of the globe, our programming team has secured some of the best youth-focused films the international community has to offer. Each film has been carefully curated with the unique interests and maturity level of each group in mind, so Ajyal offers an inspiring alternative to the usual suspects screening at the local multiplex. The Mohaq group (which means ‘New Moon’ in Arabic), Hilal group (meaning ‘Crescent Moon’ in Arabic) and Bader group (Arabic for ‘Full Moon’) will have the opportunity to experience and review a unique slate of short and feature films throughout the festival.

How to sell Ajyal to young adults: Whether you’re into fantasy, drama, anime or adventure, Ajyal can help you get your film fix.

3. Discover a unique platform for watching, understanding and voting for film.

Young people who apply to sit on the festival juries are not only given a first-rate festival experience, but they also have the opportunity to discover, enjoy and discuss film in an open and inspiring environment. Ajyal wants jurors to go beyond just talking about films on the big screen – the Doha Film Experience gives youth the power to select and reward the best films of the festival, while encouraging them to discuss their selections and explain their choices. Ajyal’s juries get to select a total of five Best Filmmaker awards within the short and feature film categories. What makes this process truly influential is that youth decide which filmmakers are awarded funding for their next film, empowering jurors to help create future content that is relevant and important to them. Ultimately, Ajyal helps jurors develop their understanding of how the world tells its stories in a spirit of cultural exchange while also fostering creative thinking, problem solving skills and friendships that will last a lifetime.

How to sell Ajyal to young adults: At Ajyal we won’t tell you when to go to bed or brush your teeth. You’re in charge – and picking the award winners is just the beginning.

4. Parents can get involved. You’re never too old to attend a youth film festival.

Ajyal also gives parents a window into the unique world of film festivals by allowing them to experience the same films as their kids through a host of public screenings. Joining discussions has never been easier with panels designed for parents, encouraging them to delve further into the Festival and film culture, and to become involved in the many discussions and debates about the future of film in the region and further afield. Involving parents is a key part of Ajyal’s vision, as they will help nurture passion for watching, understanding and creating film long after the Festival ends.

How to sell Ajyal to young adults: Your parents might get to watch the same movies as you, but you can meet film directors and stars from around the world. We know – pretty awesome, right?

5. Gain International Experience.

One of the most exciting elements of the Festival is that jurors get to meet fellow film lovers from around the world. With five amazing days of activities, Ajyal encourages youth to foster lasting international friendships while learning about different cultures through cinema. International dialogue and discussion with film enthusiasts from more than 10 countries is what the Festival is all about. Jurors also get the chance to travel to the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy next summer to continue learning about, discussing and experiencing the world’s best youth-focused films.

How to sell Ajyal to young adults: If having friends from around the world isn’t cool enough, getting the chance to travel to Italy to watch more films certainly is.

The five points above should offer plenty of reasons to register your daughters or sons for this exciting opportunity. Click here to get an application started – or have a look at this video to learn more about Ajyal.

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