Submit a Film — Ajyal Film Festival | Doha Film Institute

Ajyal Film Festival 2022

Official Rules and Regulations – Programming Submissions

  • 1. About the Ajyal Film Festival

    The Doha Film Institute is proud to present our 2022 Special Edition of the Ajyal Film Festival Jury Experience from 1–8 October. Since its inception, Ajyal has brought young people from around the world together in the spirit of cultural exchange and creative interaction.

    The Ajyal Jury Competition, described below, is the core component of the festival and presents our jurors aged 8-25 with the exciting opportunity to decide Ajyal’s competition winners. Each of the three Ajyal Juries awards a Best Film prize to their favourite short and feature-length films, for a total of six awards. The directors of the winning films are granted funding toward their next film, so jurors are empowered to support and promote future content that is relevant and meaningful to them.

    This year’s format is a little different as our screenings will be exclusively for our Ajyal Jurors. Selected local films will also become an integral part of our main competition for 2022 and will be automatically entered into our next Made in Qatar Programme, returning in 2023.

  • 2. Official Film Programme 2022

    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 (1–8 October) – 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.
      • B.   The Short Film Competition features short narrative and documentary films from around the world.

    • B. Ajyal Competition Sections 2022


      • 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 25 years of age. A Feature and Short Film Competition (documentary and narrative).

  • 3. Festival Awards 2022

    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

  • 4. Key Dates

    • 3 April 2022 – Festival submissions open
    • 21 July 2022 – Ajyal Competition submissions close
    • 25 August 2022 – applicants are advised of the status of their entry
    • 1–8 October 2022 – Ajyal 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 2022 Special 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 2022 edition (via television, Internet, video on demand, in-flight entertainment or otherwise). Films may have been publicly broadcast prior to the Festival’s 2022 edition on 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.
      • C. Films produced in Qatar in 2021 will be considered for this year’s main Ajyal Competition programme (Mohaq, Hilal and Bader competition sections). Films made in Qatar (directed, produced by a Qatari citizen or resident) are also welcomed to submit their films for the main programme. All selected local films will be automatically entered into our next Made in Qatar Competition, returning in 2023.


    • B. Ajyal Competition
      Submissions to the Ajyal Competition are open to short films only.

      We are now accepting films from all over the world that satisfy either of the following criteria:

      • (1) 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. These films can be about any topic, Arab related or otherwise.
      • (2) International film entries with no Arab director attached must portray subject matter that is related to Arabs or the Arab world in general.

      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 25 years of age
    • D. Made in Qatar
      Our Made in Qatar competition will not take place this year as all Qatari films are eligible to be submitted for the main Ajyal Competition section (Mohaq, Hilal and Bader) for 2022’s special edition. All selected titles will also be automatically entered into our next Made in Qatar Programme, returning in 2023.

    • 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 25 years of age; and
    • C.  The decisions of the juries are final;
    • D. 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 21 July 2022, 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 by local Qatari projects ONLY. The film MUST BE identified as such on the entry form. If selected, confirmation must be received no later than 31 July 2022, that the film will be complete with appropriate subtitles no later than 25 August 2022. Film promotional materials should be submitted 1 week after the film is invited, this includes trailer, film stills, press kit, director images and a time-coded dialogue/subtitle list.
    • 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 Film Festival 2022. Invited filmmakers will be notified in early August and may be requested to represent their films remotely on selected digital platforms during the festival. 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.

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