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1st Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit to take place during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival

Nov 25, 2014

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  • Inaugural summit will bring together youth festival directors and industry delegates to discuss challenges around the creation of cultural events for young people
  • Summit agenda based around the theme ‘Film Festivals in the Age of New Media’
  • First edition to take place in Doha, Qatar on December 2-3 during the second Ajyal Youth Film Festival with follow-up edition in Giffoni, Italy in Summer 2015
  • Worldwide network of youth organisations to form out of the initiative with the aim of ongoing collaboration

Doha, Qatar; November 24, 2014: The Doha Film Institute, in partnership with Italy’s Giffoni Experience, will host a new two-day summit on December 2-3 during the second edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival.

The Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit will bring a delegation of 30 film industry professionals from around the world, as well as from Qatar and the MENA region, to exchange views about the state of cinema for youth, with a focus on how new media and social networks are affecting it.

The Summit, to be held at Katara Cultural Village, will be curated by Giffoni’s Festival Director, Claudio Gubitosi, who will moderate the two days of discussions, along with Wassime Moslih Achkar from Al Jazeera Media Network, around the theme ‘Film Festivals in the Age of New Media’.

The goal is to build a year-long initiative revolving around two annual events. The first takes place in Doha each December, and includes a series of working sessions; the second in Giffoni in July, to evaluate the progress of work begun in Doha six months earlier.

A worldwide network of youth organisations and individuals will be established during the first edition with the intention to draft the constitution for an international authority aimed at managing and promoting cultural events for children and youth.

Delegates include programmers and directors of film festivals for children and youth, and representatives from national screen agencies with a vested interest in entertainment content for young people. Participants from Qatar and the Gulf region who specialise in working with young people will also participate.

Confirmed delegates include representatives from: Arab Thought Foundation (Qatar), Bahrain Festival Days and Naqsh Short Film Festival (Bahrain), Belgrade Media Education Centre (Serbia), British Film Institute (UK), Buster Film Festival (Denmark), Cairo International Film Festival for Children (Egypt), Children and Broadcasting Foundation for Africa (South Africa), Chinh India Kids Film Festival (India), Cinekid (The Netherlands), Dubai International Film Festival and Children’s International Film Festival, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), European Youth Film Festival of Flanders (Belgium), Georgian National Film Center (Georgia), Gijon International Film Festival (Spain), Innovation Films (Qatar), International Film Festival for Children and Youth (Tunisia), International Children Film Festival (Iran), International Festival of Animated Film, Algiers (Algeria), Kinder Film Festival (Japan), Macedonian Film Agency (Macedonia), Metropolis Art Cinema (Lebanon), The Royal Film Commission (Jordan), Sarajevo Film Festival (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival (United Arab Emirates), Seoul International Youth Film Festival (South Korea), Silatech (Qatar), Toronto International Film Festival (Canada), Yabous Productions (Palestine) and the International Documentary Film Festival in Agadir (Morocco).

Topics to be covered during the event include utilising social networks, new media and web platforms in communicating with young people; the importance of innovation and creativity; legacy activities to keep young audiences engaged in the long-term and challenges around attracting strategic partners for cultural events.

Acting CEO of the Doha Film Institute and Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, Fatma Al Remaihi said: “I am delighted to add a new dimension to our productive five-year collaboration with Giffoni through the creation of the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit. It is an exciting development in the second year of our fledgling festival to host this initiative, which will bring together representatives from some of the most established and highly regarded organisations working with young people around the world.

“We come together from many different cultures, but we are united by our commitment to creating cultural events that enrich the lives of young people. It is fitting that we gather not only to compare and celebrate our achievements, but also to look ahead to the future of entertainment and pave the way forward for the next generations.”

Festival Director of the Giffoni Film Festival, Claudio Gubitosi, said: “Our partnership with the Doha Film Institute has evolved over the past five years into something very unique and meaningful to the young people who are impacted by our joint initiatives. I commend the Doha Film Institute team for what they have achieved in Doha in a very short time with their new festival.

“Presenting the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit in Doha this year will build on the spirit of cultural exchange and cinematic discovery upon which our organisations are founded. Doha is the perfect hub to bring our international delegates together and I am certain they will find it to be a very rewarding experience.”

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds on the Doha Film Institute’s history of community-based programming. Ajyal, meaning ‘generations’ in Arabic, invites people of all ages to come together to discuss cinema through events that inspire creative interaction, opening up a fun, collaborative environment where young people can express themselves. Driven with the goal to inspire and create, Ajyal has been designed to empower the region’s youth and to inspire film enthusiasts of all ages in Qatar and the region.

For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit