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Ajyal Youth Film Festival unveils 65 films from 30 countries

Nov 11, 2013

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Programme includes a dynamic roster of industry and community events

Doha, Qatar; November 11, 2013: The inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, has unveiled its line-up of 65 films from 30 nations, and a rich roster of industry and community events, bringing the best of filmmaking to Qatar.

Spread over five days, from November 26 to 30, 2013, The Cultural Village Katara will host the ‘Doha Film Experience,’ ‘Family Weekend,’ the ‘Otaku Exhibition’ and ‘The Sandbox,’ in addition to an enriching array of workshops and screenings.

Celebrating Anime:

Raising the curtains on the inaugural edition is the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Premiere of the critically acclaimed anime film, ‘The Wind Rises’ (Japan, 2013), by renowned filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. ‘The Wind Rises’ along with five anime classics will also serve as a tribute to the art and culture of the Japanese art form anime, followed widely by youth across the region.

The spectacular world of ‘Anime’ will also take centrestage at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, with the ‘Otaku Exhibition’. A number of galleries will showcase the works of various artists and social clubs at the event. The organiser and key curator of the exhibition, Abdulla Al-Mosallam and talented local artists Fatima Alnesf, Kholoud Al-Ali, and Abdulaziz Yousif will work with several cultural institutions and organisations including AnimeQtr and Qatar Japan Youth Association to bring the Otaku experience to life.

Another highlight of the exhibition will be the ‘Otaku Cosplay Event’ (costume play) on November 29. Open to residents and visitors, the event will award participants across numerous categories including costumes for Best Male, Best Female, Best Group, and Open Category (open to all other costumes styles).

Several workshops will also be held including: The Making of a Comic Book; Qatari Japanese Traditional Games; Cosplay Costume Making; Cosplay Hair & Makeup; Origami Making; Introduction to Shogi; Anime History ; Qartoon; and Anime Stop Motion.

Diverse film showcase:

Headlining the film showcase is the ‘Made in Qatar’ segment, a special programme of 11 films by Qatari nationals and those who call Qatar their home , bringing aspiring and emerging filmmaking talent to the forefront.

Featuring a diverse array of films from Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, Palestine, Qatar, Spain, UK, and USA, the ‘Special Screenings’ segment will present seven films to discerning audiences in
Qatar including the presentation of Pascal Plisson’s ‘On the Way to School’ (France, Mexico, 2013) in collaboration with Education Above All Foundation.

Throughout 2013, the Doha Film Institute has partnered with the British Council and Qatar Museums Authority to present a monthly screening celebrating the power of classic and contemporary films from the British canon. To celebrate the close of this unforgettable programme, Ajyal 2013 presents a special screening of UK director Arthur Landon’s ‘Side by Side’ (UK, 2012). Next year, Qatar celebrates its ongoing official relations with Brazil; to mark this handover, Ajyal also presents Brazilian director William Côgo’s short film ‘Carioca Soul’ (Brazil, 2002).

Doha Film Experience:

Film education and appreciation is set to take a whole new course with the ‘Doha Film Experience,’ where hundreds of young jurors, from ages 8 to 21, will be given the opportunity to watch 21 short films and 8 feature films, under three categories – Mohaq, Hilal, and Bader,– followed by discussions, workshops and Q&A sessions with the directors and talent. On the closing night of the Festival, the young jurors from the Doha Film Experience will vote for the films and award the ones they consider most outstanding.

Industry Forum:

The inaugural Ajyal Industry Forum will bring together local and International media experts in a quest to find solutions for quality media for children and youth with a special focus on the MENA region. This two-day interactive forum will include a series of intensive working sessions and will showcase best practice from Qatar and around the world.

Family Weekend:

With two days of back-to-back activities, Ajyal’s ‘Family Weekend’ on November 29 and 30, at The Cultural Village Katara, have been designed to bring the entire family together. The free of charge events include the Ajyal Studio, where audiences can be part of the filmmaking experience; storytelling workshops, and performances from local youth and international talents amongst others.

Bringing together the entire family in a fun and interactive environment, the community activities have been designed to familarise audiences with the filmmaking process, by providing them entertaining insights on the behind-the-scenes of films through five distinctive workshops.

Another key family activity is ‘The Sandbox’ an interactive space that will inspire and entertain young people with the latest in media and digital technologies. The Sandbox will feature a selection of interactive 3D installations, educational games, apps, new digital creative tools, and hands-on production activities from Doha and the rest of the world.

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds on the Doha Film Institute’s history of community-based programming. Ajyal invites generations to come together to discuss cinema through events that inspire creative interaction, opening up a fun, collaborative environment where young people can express themselves.

For more details on Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit