Every year, the Ajyal Youth Film Festival (AYFF) opens a volunteer programme which encourages willing and enthusiastic individuals from all walks of life to participate in the festival’s several exciting undertakings not only in the field of filmmaking but also on its several side attractions including family activities, special events, red carpet premieres, talks, and exhibits.
For as long as a potential candidate meets the basic requirement of being 18 years old and above, then he or she is more than welcome to render services based on his/her set of skills and preferred timings of availability.
Doha Film Institute (DFI), the organization behind the AYFF, has recently opened the registration period for the 2018 volunteer programme and if you meet the above-criteria, then feel free to register HERE now!
After getting the applicant’s personal details reviewed by a strict set of panel, what follows is a rigorous step-by-step process to determine whether the he/she is a fit to take part in the 6-day long festival. As they say, discipline is the key to becoming excellent in the workplace, that’s why the DFI isn’t able to give slots to every single applicant since the designations are limited and they’re aiming to work only with the most deserving people.
The ILQ team is fortunate to have a word with a cross section of volunteers from last year's highly-successful Ajyal Film edition. Our respondents talked about the satisfaction of being able to help guests, the gratifying feeling of looking over small kids all-day, and some of the life-changing benefits of being one with the Ajyal team.
Check out some of their accounts below:
It’s actually my first time to volunteer but not the first time to take part in Ajyal. I love the idea that they have a new theme every single year. Being a Mass Communication student, I believe that the people behind gatherings like Ajyal are doing a great job of bringing people of different backgrounds and interests together in one place to watch movies, talk about them, meet new friends, and have lots of fun. Though it would be an awesome idea too to give spotlight to classic movies like Forrest Gump or Notting Hill, I still think that Ajyal is one of the highlights for the month of December in the state of Qatar.
- Njoud Alnasr (Qatar, 21)
The festival has been a yearly habit for me since films and kids, the two most essential elements of the AYFF, speak a lot about my personality. 2017, which marks my fourth epic year as an Ajyal volunteer, made me realise that no two editions are the same as the committee is doing their very best to bring out something fresh to the participants each year. One noticeable transformation is the falcon, Ajyal’s official mascot for 2017, which is really cool. Plus we have the LeBlockade and the Made in Kuwait session, which both made their debuts in 2017. It has always been my pleasure to work with the Ajyal team, and I can’t wait to be back hopefully with my own short film in competition next year.
- Hammad Alwali (Qatar, 23)
When I received an email from DFI saying that they’re having another volunteer programme, I gladly signed up and was lucky to make it in! Making movies has always been my passion, and in order to attain my goal, I thought I’d start off with baby steps like this. Well, Ajyal has taught me a lot of things during my 6 days of duty with them. In my opinion, the essence of volunteering is being friendly and helpful at the same time. Coming on time to make guests feel welcomed is I guess the very heart of being here. They’re looking for that positive spirit when they arrive, and I think the infectious smiles of the volunteers can give them that! Aside from the fruitful experiences, I also enjoyed the new friends that I made as well as the artists’ corner where they sell the artworks that they personally made. And because it’s the Christmas season, I shopped presents for my mom and brother, so I hope they will like them!
- Ryn Phelps (United States, 23)
After attending university in the morning, I quickly take my yellow-coloured volunteer shirt from my backpack and head directly to Katara. I’m always excited to work for them because many from my circle of friends have attested how rewarding it is to be part of the Ajyal workforce since they have already experienced volunteering for its past editions. It was just this mid-2017 when I turned 18 so I thought it’s the perfect time to show up finally as a volunteer! I am usually stationed in the Juror’s Hub where kids play during their free time, meaning my work involves looking after them and making sure that they are inside the hub all the time. Looks like my friends are right. Every passing hour as a volunteer is tiring but really worth my spare my time instead of just staying home after school.
- Mohannad Shurrab (Palestine, 18)
I used to teach kids with special needs before resting for a while to focus on my own children and knowing that Ajyal is a totally wholesome and family-oriented film festival, I knew from the very start what I wanted to become—a volunteer. Luckily, the committee accepted me with open arms. Being able to skip from one department to another is a fun experience because I get the chance to meet different kinds of people, and I love the feeling of answering guests’ questions confidently. My favourite is definitely the hospitality department as it is the most active of all the stations. Their work never ends. Just the thought of keeping myself busy for six hours straight is absolute music to my ears. Truly, every edition of Ajyal is surprisingly exciting.
- Sanu Matthew (India, 43)
I have been volunteering for other groups before trying out Ajyal, but the experience I was able to gain in here is so far incomparable. Working for the IT department, the designation bestowed on my shoulders allowed me to explore my horizons and learn classified skills about the diverse and exciting world of filmmaking. My work mainly revolves around the machines that’s why I need to be extra careful with my actions as mistakes are not encouraged in our department especially when a screening is ongoing. One unintentional mistake leads to mayhem. But at the end of the day, treats await volunteers because the Geekdom area, limited-edition freebies, and movie vouchers are there to reward our hard work.
- Tayeb Elmami (Mauritania, 21)
Have you tried volunteering for Ajyal before? Or is it your first time to do so this year? Drop us a line in the comments and also, don't forget to like and share this article—it keeps us going!
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