Ajyal Youth Film Festival premiering “The Eagle Huntress” for its opening night

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AngelPolacco

Title image: DFI

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival is more than just an ordinary film festival. 

Ajyal, presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), also focuses on a number of different themes throughout the festival that aim to raise awareness and provoke positive social change. This is done through the screening of films that present these very real and evocative themes, and impart messages that resonate with audiences.

One such film is The Eagle Huntress (Mongolia, UK, USA/Kazakh 2016). This feature documentary will be screened at the gala opening of Ajyal and will be its debut in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It was also premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and was very well received by critics and audiences. The Eagle Huntress is also speculated to be up for an Oscar nomination for its beautiful cinematography and unique storyline. 

Directed by Otto Bell, The Eagle Huntress is about a young 13-year-old Mongolian girl, Aisholpan, who wants to be a part of the male dominant tradition of eagle hunting, which has helped the Mongolian people to survive the harsh climates of the Steppe. 

Woman empowerment, the rekindling of hope, and following your dreams, are among some of the more prevalent messages that The Eagle Huntress delivers in its riveting 97 minutes of screen-time. 

The Eagle Huntress shows the bond between a father and his passionate daughter, who is determined to challenge tradition and gender norms in order to follow her ancestors’ footsteps to achieve her goal, which is to capture and train a golden eagle. 

According to Variety the film crew and team endured severe weather conditions, that rival The Revenant’s, to capture the footage for The Eagle Huntress. “Temperatures of 50 degrees below zero, limited sunlight each day and treacherous locations” (Variety) 

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director and CEO of Doha Film Institute, said: “We are delighted to open the fourth edition of our festival with a film that not only celebrates the values of familial bonding but also highlights the power of the human mind to beat all odds. A celebration of women empowerment, the film will be an inspiration for all, and resonates with the themes that we highlight this year. The Eagle Huntress is a profound tale that is also marked by amazing cinematic techniques that will give fresh insights for our emerging filmmakers and leave a lasting impression on our Ajyal jurors.”

For people interested in watching the premiere of The Eagle Huntress at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, it screens at 7:00 pm, on November 30, 2016 at Katara Cultural Village in one of the theaters. Tickers for the opening night are QR40. Doors open at 5:30 pm and close promptly at 7:00 pm.