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5th Ajyal Youth Film Festival Empowers Home-Grown Talent with 16 Films in Made in Qatar Presented by Occidental Petroleum

Nov 20, 2017

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  • Captivating programme of short form narratives and documentaries
  • World premieres of the next completed projects from the 2015 and 2016 Qatar Film Fund recipients
  • A showcase of remarkable Qatari talent that underlines the deep interests of youth with fresh perspectives and narrative styles in filmmaking

Doha, Qatar; November 20, 2017: Qatar’s home-grown film industry marks another milestone with the Doha Film Institute showcasing 16 captivating films in Made in Qatar presented by Occidental Petroleum at the 5th edition of Ajyal Youth Film Festival to be held at Katara Cultural Village from November 29 to December 4, 2017.

One of the most popular segments of Ajyal, the section was formed in 2009 as a platform for short films from aspiring Qatar-based filmmakers, and has since grown into an integral programming strand, highlighting the diversity of creative talent in Qatar.

This year, Made in Qatar will have two short film programmes with narratives and documentaries, and includes the world premieres of recently completed projects from 2015 and 2016 Qatar Film Fund recipients, 1001 Days by Aisha Al-Jaidah and Elevate by Hamida Issa.

The films will vie for the Made in Qatar Awards, chosen by an expert jury that includes prominent Qatari actor Salah Al Mulla, Palme D’Or winning Lebanese director Ely Dagher, and founder of Kuwaiti Communications Agency Twentytwo11 Dana Mado.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director and CEO of Doha Film Institute said, “Made in Qatar has evolved from being a sidebar programme to taking centre stage at Ajyal, inspiring the increasing number of ambitious young filmmakers in Qatar and providing them with a platform to present our stories to global audiences. This year’s impressive slate of accomplished films stand out with bold subjects and brilliant narrative styles, and we are proud of the contribution of our young talents to building a vibrant creative industry in Qatar and inspiring their peers. The quality of the films presented in Made in Qatar demonstrates an exciting path that our young filmmakers are forging in the industry.”

Following their screenings at Ajyal, the Doha Film Institute will bring a curated selection of Made in Qatar films to audiences at international film festival markets including Clermont-Ferrand, Cannes Short Film Corner, Berlinale, Giffoni Film Festival and Sarajevo Film Festival among others.

The selection to be screened in Made in Qatar at Ajyal 2017 includes:

  • 1001 Days by Aisha Al-Jaidah, an animated short that follows a traditional fairy-tale structure to address eternal issues such as sacrifice, equality and bravery, and considers how today’s women deserve equal treatment and privileges.
  • Chaos Antidote by Hadeer Omar and Idris Elhassan presents the ever-changing urban landscape of Doha in a wordless, documentary essay, in which order is made of chaos and a sense of peace overcomes the frenetic pace of progress.
  • Dreams That Stayed by Noor Al-Nasr presents a man working late at the office, alone apart from the presence of the building’s security guard. But something strange is going on.
  • Elevate by Hamida Issa portrays Latifa, a young Qatari lady and her long-suffering maid trapped in an elevator, where emotions come to a head and Latifa finds herself confronting her own egotism.
  • Embodiment by Khalifa Al Marri is a poetic reflection of Qatar becoming a sophisticated nation of wealth and influence while retaining its centuries-old traditions; it is an inspiring journey of the nation from ancient wilderness to contemporary metropolis.
  • I Have Been Watching You All Along by Rawda Al-Thani is about a girl, who explores the forgotten memories of an abandoned cinema through a trancelike journey into its past, creating a freeform narrative all her own, and breathing new life into forgotten artifacts.
  • Khurshid by Mazen Shafea and Mohamed Elamin is about the eponymous goldsmith, who spends his days creating and repairing jewellery using timeworn tools, seemingly magical potions – and his own two hands. Is this deliciously delicate craft destined to be forgotten?
  • Our Time Is Running Out by Meriem Mesraoua is set in a blissful alternate universe, where a society of children live according to strict rules, and deviation from the norm means eternal banishment.
  • Red by Kholood Al Ali, features a lonely boy, who sees a pair of red trainers hanging from a telephone wire. Can he stamp out his fears and find a way to get them on his feet?
  • Smicha by Amal Al-Muftah, depicts seven-year-old Lulwa, who dotes on her elderly grandfather showing early signs of senility. The film shows that love is not found in blurry details, but in a powerful bond that never fades.
  • The Fishermen by Obada Jarbi narrates the story of three fishermen, who escape from the lights, traffic and towering buildings of Doha every night into the waters of the Gulf, following their journey from sea to city.
  • The Noble Tree by Ghassan Kairouz and Pascale Abou Jamra is a lovely parable that warns of the foolishness of isolationism and bullying.
  • There Be Dragons by Suzannah Mirghani, is a visual amble through Doha that uncovers a quirky, alternate side of the city that usually goes unnoticed – one that seems outside the control of its inhabitants.
  • Treasures of the Past by Rawan Al-Nassiri and Nada Bedair has three cheerful, engaging and hard-working Qatari grandmothers who bring to mind the old saying, “a woman’s work is never done”.
  • Voices from the Urbanscape by Shaima Al Tamimi and Mariam Salim is a sort of travelogue around Qatar’s capital in development, an apt reflection of a burgeoning 21st-century city with a mission and a tribute to its multicultural success.
  • Walls by Nibu Vasudevan, is set in a decaying world that has become nothing more than a trash heap. Here, a race of skeleton-like, robotic creatures are engaged in a pointless, seemingly endless war. But who is the enemy?

Tickets for Ajyal Youth Film Festival screenings are priced QR25 for general screening. Tickets 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 Festival City Mall).

2017 Ajyal Youth Film Festival’s Official Partners include: Cultural Partner, Katara Cultural Village; Principal Partners Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Ooredoo, and Strategic Partner Qatar Tourism Authority. For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival.