Cultural Partner

Principal Partner

Press Centre

Back to listing

6th Ajyal Film Festival Presents 81 Inspirational Films from 36 Countries including 14 DFI Supported Projects

Nov 13, 2018

Download PDF

578 kB

Download PDF

  • Programme includes 23 Features and 58 shorts; 24 of them from the Arab World; 44 by women filmmakers and 14 films supported by the Institute
  • Ajyal 2018 recognises the illustrious career of Qatari actor Abdul Aziz Jassem and constitutes a new acting award in tribute as part of Made in Qatar presented by Ooredoo
  • Celebrates Year of Culture with a special Made in Russia section
  • Festival to world premiere 4 new projects from previous Qatari Film Fund recipients
  • Ajyal Jury comprises of over 550 jurors from 55 countries including 25 international jurors

Doha, Qatar; November 12, 2018: The sixth Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, will present a compelling slate of 81 films from 36 countries that express the power of storytelling to transform minds, and will inspire audiences and stimulate discussions about real and relevant issues that affect them.

The six-day event, to be held from November 28 to December 3 at Katara Cultural Village, will feature public screenings, screenings dedicated to the Ajyal jury, interactive panel discussions, red carpet events, and community-oriented activities that will delight all ages. Ajyal 2018 is expanding its public screenings beyond Katara to include screenings at Novo Cinemas in the Pearl.

This year’s Opening Night Gala of Ajyal Film Festival will present Freedom Fields (Libya, UK, USA, Netherlands, Canada, Lebanon, Qatar/2018), a powerful first film by Naziha Arebi. A recipient of the Doha Film Institute’s Grants Programme, this gutsy and inspiring documentary demonstrates how courage can overcome cultural and societal stereotypes in the pursuit of dreams. The film takes audiences on an inspiring journey through the ups and downs of three women’s efforts to build a football team in post-revolution Libya, even as the country descends into civil war. It is also timely in that Ajyal presents the film during the symbolic handover year of the World Cup from Russia to Qatar.

Tickets for the 6th Ajyal Film Festival are available for purchase from November 13th in FNAC stores (Lagoona Mall and Doha Festival City) and on November 17th in Ajyal Katara Main Box office, Building 12. Online ticket sales start on November 13th at For up-to-date information or more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit

“With resilience comes courage – a reality artistically reflected in the films programmed at this year’s Ajyal Film Festival,” said Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, during the official press conference of the Festival. “In this sixth edition we continue to celebrate film with our community, and to build on what our festival has always stood for: the power of cinematic voices to help transform minds, people and communities.”

“Ajyal is a festival of cinema for all generations. The festival firmly believes in the courage of honest representation from as many perspectives as possible, respecting and valuing a global outlook. Ajyal plays a significant role in the advancement of a thriving creative community in Qatar and the region, with programming and dialogues that accurately represent and impact our communities.”

Drawn from distinctive milieus from around the world, Ajyal Film Festival continues to showcase directors of all backgrounds and stages of their careers, the diverse programme consists of 23 features and 58 shorts, including 24 from the Arab World and 44 by women filmmakers. The programme includes festival favourites and award winners such as the Cannes Jury Prize Winning Capharnaüm by Nadine Labaki; Berlinale Amnesty International Film Prize Winner Central Airport THF by Karim Ainouz; Sundance winner The Price of Free by Derek Doneen and festival favourites 3 Faces by Jafar Panahi and anime feature Mirai by acclaimed director Mamoru Hosada.

Ajyal 2018 brings back the inclusive cinema experience with Naji Abu Nowar’s Theeb, a DFI-supported film that won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut and was Oscar® nominated in 2016 for Best Foreign Language Film, to celebrate UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The special ‘trans-adapted’ screening is presented in collaboration with the Translation and Interpreting Institute of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hamad bin Khalifa University.

Film lovers will be immersed in the interesting and essential cinematic artform of short films with an eclectic programme of 58 films from across the globe.

Ajyal 2018 pays tribute to national icon, renowned Qatari actor and extraordinary individual Abdul Aziz Jassem with the Abdul Aziz Jassem Award for acting, as part of the Made in Qatar awards.

The 2018 Made in Qatar programme presented by Ooredoo comprises 16 inspiring films, including the world premieres of next completed projects from the Qatari Film Fund recipients, Mahdi Ali Ali’s Amphitheatre, Amal Al Muftah’s Sh’hab, Nasser Goes to Space by Mohamed Al Mahmeed and Naif Al Malki I Am Not My Father, shining the spotlight on Qatari talents and presenting our stories to the world.

Ajyal 2018 is proud to welcome to Qatar some of the key personalities in films, arts and humanity; Director Nadine Labaki, Producer and music composer Khaled Mouzanar, Artist El Seed, Actors Tom Felton, Evangeline Lilly, Tuba Unsal, Engin Altan Duzyatan, Bulent Inal and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi among others.

Ajyal 2018 will also screen 14 films supported by the Institute through its Grants programme, co-financing, Qatari Film Fund or projects mentored through its labs and workshops. These include: What Walaa Wants; The Man Who Stole Banksy; Weldi; Capharnaum among others.

The Jury Competition line-up at Ajyal 2018 will consist of 13 feature films and a series of short programmes. This year, we have over 550 jurors from 55 nationalities including 25 international jurors who will travel to Doha for the event from Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

They will watch diversely curated sections – Mohaq, Hilal, and Bader, discuss the films collectively and with industry experts, evaluate the individual creative and emotional impact of these films and participate in events including panels, workshops and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

While Ajyal is a celebration of films from all over the world, Ajyal Creativity Hub presents a vibrant programme of cultural and creative activities which includes Qatar’s largest pop-culture event Geekdom – a hub for the community to come together and relive their childhood memories through music, games, competitions, talks and films; and Ajyal Talks – that gathers leaders from film, art, television and technology for inspiring and insightful discussions on a broad range of social impact topics.

2018 Ajyal Youth Film Festival’s Official Partners include: Katara Cultural Village – Cultural Partner; Ooredoo – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas – Strategic Partner, St.Regis Doha- Signature Partner .