Films for the family and array of weekend activities today (Friday) at 4th Ajyal Youth Film Festival

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Today (Friday, Dec. 2) is perfect for families to have a memorable day out with fun-filled films and a range of weekend activities at the fourth Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute.

 

Children will be the heroes this afternoon as Ajyal hosts the kids red carpet screening of their beloved classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (USA), directed by Mel Stuart, at 3 PM at the Katara Drama Theatre. Kids can come dressed up as oompa-loompas, chocolate bars or blueberries and more to attend the family-friendly screening of the film.

 

Another equally delightful film for the family is Hunt for the Wilderpeople (New Zealand), directed by Taika Waititi. Screening at 7 PM at Katara Opera House, the film about a young boy’s last chance to settle down with a foster family is marked by brilliant performances and a heartwarming story.

 

For thriller lovers, there is enough edge-of-the-seat excitement in store with the Midnight Screening of The Girl with All the Gifts (UK) directed by Colm McCarthy. It will screen at 11 PM at Katara Drama Theatre, and is about humanity desperately trying to find a cure for a mysterious fungal infection.

 

Those who have missed the opening night screening of the compelling Kazakh film The Eagle Huntress (Mongolia, UK, USA) has another opportunity to catch up with this endearing drama about the wonderful ability of the human spirit to rise to a challenge. Directed by Otto Bell, the film will screen at 4 PM at Katara Opera House.

 

A compelling showcase of Made in Qatar films by home-grown talents will screen at 8 PM at Katara Drama Theatre. These include Caravan by Suzannah Mirghani, in which trapped in a traffic jam, the minds of Doha residents meander in a state of dreamlike suspension.

 

Daz by Shouq Shaheen is a clear-eyed look at the passion many young Qatari men have for high-speed drag racing, while Dunia by Amer Jamhour depicts nine-year-old Dunia’s mother, who is on some kind of mission, but she won’t share the details, and an already strange night becomes a life-or-death struggle.

 

Love Blood Test by Mostafa Sheshtawy has Baghat and Waneesa passing their love blood test and all they need now is her father’s blessing but realize that the path to true love is never simple. Makh’bz by Aisha R. AlMuhannadi shows how the actions of men and machines in making bread become a graceful dance while More Than Two Days by Ahmad Abdelnaser explores how difficult it can be to speak about emotional and physical trauma.

 

Passport, directed by Dana Al-Meer, is a funny short about Reem and Mahmoud, who want to go to America but circumstances keep getting in their way. Um Khalifa by Alanood Al-Kuwari is about 10-year-old Khalifa, born with Down syndrome, in a frank conversation with his loving mother, who shares her experience raising him. In The Waiting Room, Qatari filmmaker Hend Fakhroo tells a story of two young women to explore the universality of caring for a loved one in distress.

 

An uplifting take on the power of storytelling and the resourcefulness of the human mind is evident in Life, Animated (USA, France), directed by Roger Ross Williams, screening at 8.30 PM at Katara 12 Theatre A.  A subtle take on the displacement issue is Twice Upon a Time (Lebanon), directed by Niam Itani, screening at 9.15 PM at Katara 12 Theatre B. A former child refugee herself, Itani attempts to document the meaning of childhood through the eyes of nine-year-old Khalil.  Fatima (France), directed by Philippe Faucon, about an Algerian immigrant to France, will screen at 10.30 PM at Katara Opera House.

 

There is more in store for the family-viewing experience with the free screening at 8 PM at the Katara Esplanade of Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale (USA, Botswana) under Ajyal’s SONY Cinema Under the Stars. Directed by Geoff Luck and Ben Bowie, the film puts the spotlight on the battle to protect the elephants of Africa.

 

There is a wide breadth of family activities as part of the Ajyal 2016 Family Weekend, open from 3 PM to 10 PM.  Also from 2 PM to 10 PM, take part in Geekdom: Time Machine Exhibition that assures a trip down nostalgia lane as visitors will be transported to the time of Snakes & Ladders, handheld gaming, hangman and other childhood favourites of yore. Do not forget to leave your mark on the Ajyal Wall.

 

For some inspiring discussion, head to Katara Drama Theatre at 6 PM for the Ajyal Talks where social media influencer Mohammed Al Hajji speaks about ‘Ten Things I Learned in My Twenties.’ He outlines the major life lessons he learned as a young GCC student living in the USA.

 

Tickets are priced QR25 for general screening, and are available for purchase 24 hours a day at ajyalfilm.com or from the Ajyal Katara Main Box Office in Katara Building 12 or Ajyal FNAC Ticket Outlet, FNAC Qatar (at Lagoona Mall).

 

Katara is the Cultural Partner and Oxy Qatar is the Principal Partner for the 2016 edition. Qatar Tourism Authority is the Signature Partner of the festival this year. For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival

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