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Australian movie ‘Paper Planes,’ ‘Scarecrow’ from the Philippines and ‘Walls’ from Spain win top honours at Ajyal

Dec 05, 2015

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Third Ajyal Youth Film Festival concludes with colourful award ceremony

Doha, Qatar; December 5, 2015: An endearing Australian movie about a 11-year-old boy who must come up with funds to enter a world paper plane championship competition; a deeply moving Tagalog film on the life of a widowed, illiterate woman in a rural Philippine provence; and a Spanish film that takes a compelling look on lives on either side of the world’s border walls won the top honours at the third Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute.

Paper Planes (Australia; 2014) directed by Robert Connolly; Scarecrow (The Philippines, 2015) directed by Zig Madamba Dulay; and Walls (Spain; 2015) directed by Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina, were voted as winners by 520 jurors aged 8 to 21 in three categories – Mohaq, Hilal, and Bader. Films from Russia, USA, Spain, Germany, Lebanon, France and Brazil are among the winners in short films and those who received Special Mentions by the jury.

The winners were honoured at a colourful closing ceremony followed by the World Premiere of Bilal (UAE; 2015), directed by Ayman Jamal and Khurram H. Alavi with cast members Andre Robinson and Jacob Latimore in attendance along with the composer of the impressive score Atil Örvarsson.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director and CEO of the Doha Film Institute, said: “I would like to commend our Ajyal Jurors for the dedication and enthusiasm they have brought to the task of determining the competition winners this year – their enthusiasm and insight is an inspiration to us all. I congratulate all of our 2015 winners and sincerely thank all of the filmmakers who have joined us in Doha this week for sharing their stories and creative talents. Their presence has brought a depth and richness to the experience of our audiences and jurors that will live on in their hearts and minds long into the future.”

The 2015 Ajyal Youth Film Festival Competition Winners are:


Best Feature Film
Paper Planes by Robert Connolly (Australia)

Special Mention
Celestial Camel (Nebesnyy verblyud) by Yury Feting (Russia)

Best Short Film
The Red Thunder by Alvaro Ron (Spain, USA)


Best Feature Film
Scarecrow (Bambanti) by Zig Madamba Dulay (The Philippines)

Special Mention
Landfill Harmonic by Graham Townsley and Brad Allgood (USA)

Best Short Film
wHole by Robert Banning and Verena Klinger (Germany)

Special Mention
That Day in September by Karim Jaafar (Lebanon)


Best Feature Film
Walls (Muros) by Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina (Spain)

Special Mention
The Second Mother (Que Horas Ela Volta?) by Anna Muylaert (Brazil)

Best Short Film
By Mutual Agreement by Rémy Cayuela (France)


Parent’s Choice Award
The Law of the Jungle by Pascale Hecquet (Belgium)

The competition line-up at Ajyal 2015 comprised feature films from 20 countries and a series of short film programmes. More than 500 young people watched and analysed the dynamic programme of films under the three competitive sections.

Jurors aged 8 to 12 watched one programme of short films and four feature-length films in Mohaq; those aged 13 to 17 evaluated five feature films and a programme of shorts in Hilal; and jurors aged 18 to 21 adjudged five feature films and two programmes of short films in Bader.

The Jury included a delegation of 24 international jurors who travelled to Doha for the event from 12 countries including Australia, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Serbia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Earlier, the festival honoured the winners in the ‘Made in Qatar’ category that included 17 films by Qatari filmmakers and those who call Qatar home. The winners were:

Documentary Category

  • Best Documentary Film: The Palm Tree by Jassim Al-Rumaihi
  • Jury Award: Heart of the House by Gabrielle Sol
  • Special Mention: The Notebook by Amna Al-Binali

Narrative Category

  • Best Narrative Film: Asfoora by Mayar Hamdan
  • Jury Award: Man of the House by Khalifa AlMarri

The festival also presented the third edition of the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit, hosted by the Doha Film Institute in partnership with Italy’s Giffoni Experience, where it showcased its Planet-Y initiative with five projects that will be nurtured in the coming months to promote the inclusive growth of youth talent around the world, especially in conflict areas.

These platforms include: One Platform, Many Voices – the Planet-Y Video Channel, a speciality media channel by and for youth; The Magic Box – An Educational Radio Station for Syrian Children; Content is King – a Youth Production Programme; Nomadic – a Festival Cooperation and Exchange Programme; and Film Fun in Bed – a Hospital Outreach Programme.

The third annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival also included comprised daily public screenings of local and international films; the popular ‘Made in Qatar’ section dedicated to showcasing home-grown talent from Qatar; SONY Cinema Under the Stars; family weekend activities; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Ajyal Competition.

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