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Critically acclaimed anime film, The Wind Rises, to usher in inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival

Oct 31, 2013

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Doha, Qatar; October 30, 2013: The inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presentedby the Doha Film Institute, will usher in its first edition with the MENA Premiere of the critically acclaimed anime film, The Wind Rises, by renowned filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

Raising the curtains on the Doha Film Institute’s platform aimed at bringing audiences of all ages together to discuss and appreciate cinema, The Wind Rises will also serve as a sterling tribute to the art and culture of the Japanese art form anime, which is followed widely by youth in the Middle East.

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, The Wind Rises derives inspiration from a short story written by mid-20th century poet, writer, and translator Tatsuo Hori, which fictionalises the life of the designer of the fighter aircraft Mitsubishi A5M and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, both of which were used for battle in World War II.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director, said: “Promising a showcase of international films, the inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival pays tribute to one of the world’s most followed art forms. Anime is extremely popular with the youth in the Middle East and our opening night film celebrates the final work of legendary filmmaker Miyazaki. It’s very exciting for us to have a film screen at the launch of our new Festival from such a prolific filmmaker. The Wind Rises is billed as one of the most critically acclaimed anime films of this generation.”

Starring Japanese animator and film director Hideaki Anno; Japanese actress and former musical performer, Miori Takimoto; actor Hidetoshi Nishijima; and theatre and film actor Masahiko Nishimura, among others, The Wind Rises depicts the story of Jiro Horikoshi, a young boy living in a provincial town.

When Jiro wakes up to a dream about flying like an airplane from the top of his room, which is then destroyed by a large ship that emerges from the clouds, he is convinced that he was born to create one of the world’s greatest flying machines. Upon borrowing an English-language aviation magazine and a dictionary from a friend, Jiro works his way up to become an engineer, and begins working at an airplane manufacturer.

With a career spanning over fifty years, director, animator, manga artist, producer, and screenwriter, Miyazaki, has attained international acclaim as a maker of anime feature films. He began his animation career in 1961 and has directed 20 features including Howls’ Moving Castle, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Castle in the Sky amongst others.

The tribute to anime also includes Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro [1979] by Hayao Miyazaki; Horus: Prince of the Sun [1968], by Isao Takahata; White Snake Enchantress [1958], by Taiji Yabushita and Kazuhiko Okabe; and finally closing the curtain on the tribute to Anime with Garden of Words [2013] and Voices of a Distant Star [2003], by Makoto Shinkai.

The screenings will be complemented by an array of community-wide activities including the ‘Otaku Exhibition’ that celebrates the works of local and regional artists paying tribute to the anime culture.

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 the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit