Sign in Register
Posted On: 14 November 2019 10:51 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:05 pm

10 reasons why you must not miss the Ajyal Film Festival 2019

Content Writer
Discuss here!
Start a discussion

It’s that time of the year again. It’s time for the Ajyal Film Festival and this year will be its 7th edition. Held over a period of six exciting days and presented by the Doha Film Institute at the Katara Cultural Village, along with screenings at Novo Cinemas in the Pearl and VOX Cinemas at Doha Festival City, this extraordinary festival is proud to present an enthralling lineup of 96 films from 39 countries.

‘Ajyal’, which is Arabic for ‘generations’, brings people of all ages together through screenings of films from around the world and events - interactive discussions, red carpet events, and community-oriented activities - that inspire creative interaction and stimulate cinematic dialogue and discussions. There’s a special focus on films made right here in Qatar; short films for children as young as 4; brilliant examples of animation, drama, and comedy; and heavy-hitting documentaries for the serious cinephile all held over six days from 18 to 23 November. 2019.

This year’s Ajyal Film Festival has many treats instore for cinephiles of all ages and all communities in Qatar, so make sure you don’t miss out on them.

Here, we’ve put together a bunch of films and events that are not to be missed at Ajyal this year. Read on to know what these are.

1. Made in Qatar

A highly-anticipated highlight of the Festival, Made in Qatar presented by Ooredoo serves as a unique platform for aspiring filmmakers to showcase their works on a global stage, drawing on the immersive power of cinema to tell their stories and establish a creative dialogue with audiences from around the world.

There are two programmes of shorts that include narratives, thought-provoking documentaries and reflective essays, inspired by the values that define the nation - its culture, heritage, people and places.

Programme 1: Tuesday 19 November at 8 pm at Katara Drama Theatre and Thursday 21 November at 8.30 pm at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City.
Programme 2: Wednesday 20 November at 8 pm at Katara Drama Theatre and Friday 22 November at 8.30 pm at VOX Cinemas, Doha Festival City.

For more information on the Made in Qatar films to be screened, click on the following link:

2. Made in India

To mark the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture with an exciting Made in India programme, Ajyal is showcasing eight short narrative and documentary films from India that offer a fascinating insight into modern India and are a testament to the country’s rich filmmaking heritage, trends, culture and people.

For more information on the Made in India films to be screened, click on the following link:

3. Bombay Rose by Gitanjali Rao (2019; India, France, UK, Qatar)

In addition, Ajyal 2019 will also present a special screening of acclaimed actor, director and animator Gitanjali Rao’s 'Bombay Rose', a DFI Grant production. The haunting musical romance set on the streets of Bombay unfolds through exquisite hand-painted animation and storytelling techniques by Rao, who will be in attendance. The film opened the prestigious Critics Week programme at the 2019 Venice Film Festival and won the India Gold Silver Gateway Award and the Manish Acharya Award for New Voices in Indian Cinema at the 2019 Mumbai International Film Festival.

4. The Wizard of Oz by Victor Fleming (1939; USA) - Special Kids’ Red Carpet Screening

A cherished childhood favourite for many around the world, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is a perennial fantasy musical from MGM’s golden years of cinema. During a fierce tornado, Dorothy is whisked to Oz, a land of pure imagination. Her journey there will take her through emerald forests, yellow brick roads, and creepy castles, all with the help of some unusual but earnest song-happy friends. As resonant today as it was then, this masterpiece is a must-see film for young and old.

22 November: 3 pm / VOX (QR 35)

5. It Must Be Heaven by Elia Suleiman - Doha Film Institute supported film

This year’s Opening Night Gala of Ajyal Film Festival will present award-winning Palestinian auteur Elia Suleiman’s 'It Must Be Heaven' (France, Qatar, Germany, Canada, Turkey), co-financed by the Institute. The dark satire is an autobiographical account of Elia’s experience of leaving Palestine to find an alternative homeland. The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors; however far he travels, from Paris to New York, something always reminds him of home. A comic saga exploring identity, nationality, and belonging, the film won the Jury Special Mention and the FIPRESCI Critics Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was Palestine’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Oscar Academy Awards.

18 November: 8 pm / K16-OH (by invitation only)
18 November: 8 pm / K16-DT (QR 50 doors open at 6:30 pm and close at 8 pm)
19 November: 8.30 pm / NOVO (QR 35)
21 November: 8.30 pm / VOX (QR 35)

6. Wonder and Under the Moonlight Cine-Concert

Wonder is the beginning of wisdom, and in this family-friendly selection of shorts, we show how these seeds of knowledge can be nurtured from a young age.

Sloth by Julia Ocker (2018; Germany)
A laid-back sloth decides to buy an icecream one sunny day. But his leisurely pace proves to be a big problem, as he can’t seem to taste his refreshing treat quick enough!

Kuap by Nils Hedinger (2018; Switzerland)
After an adorable tadpole is seemingly left behind in the rush to become a frog—he learns that there is still so much for him to discover in his pond.

White Crow by Miran Miošić Croatia (2018; Croatia)
Little White Crow is gawked at and ridiculed by her flock for being different. But when pollution causes turbulent changes in their environment, she helps them find a new home.

Wings by Christoffer Andersen (2007; France)
A young boy accidentally gets his model aircraft stuck in a tree. Inspired by a passing pilot, he plucks up the courage to face his fear of heights and rescue his plane. Director: Christoffer Andersen France / No Dialogue / 2017 / 4 mins

Cat Lake City by Antje Heyn (2019; Germany)
A dream vacation to ‘Cat Lake City’ doesn’t go quite as planned for one fatigued feline. As relaxing by the lake on his beloved towel proves to more stressful than expected.

23 November: 11.30 am / K16-DT (FREE) – Please reserve a ticket for admission to Wonder and Under the Moonlight Cine-Concert

7. You Will Die at Twenty by Amjad Abu Alala (2016)

'You Will Die at 20' is a DFI-grant production that won the Lion of the Future (Luigi de Laurentiis) Award for Best Debut Feature at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. On the day of her firstborn’s naming ceremony, a mother seeks out a travelling holy man to bless her son Muzamel, but is instead told that the boy will die at the tender age of
twenty. Unable to take the ramifications of the prophecy, his father leaves to work in neighbouring Ethiopia. Continuously reminded of his predestined fate growing up, young
Muzamel is coddled almost to the point of suffocation by his overprotective mother. Until Suliman, a cinematographer opens a window onto a whole new world for Muzamel, and slowly, he comes to doubt the veracity of the prophecy

20 November: 8.30 pm / NOVO (QR 35)
23 November: 8.30 pm / VOX (QR 35)

8. Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach (2019; Belgium, English)

'Sorry We Missed You' won the Audience Award for Best European Film at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 2019. A gritty and impassioned portrait of a delivery driver and his family as they struggle to make ends meet in modern-day England. Devastated by the 2008 financial crisis and now unable to save enough for a mortgage, both Ricky and his wife are forced into ‘zero-hour’ contract work. The couples’ jobs are void of any real employment benefits or security and the strain this puts on them is palpable as they attempt to keep their family together on a tight-rope budget.

20 November: 8.30 pm / VOX (QR 35)
22 November: 8.30 pm / NOVO (QR 35)

9. Geekdom

Image credit: DFI

Geekdom returns to Ajyal this year with another unmissable celebration of all things pop-culture, and it's all set tobring out your inner-geek with a host of fantastic activities for nerds of all kinds! Prepare for combat in nail-biting video game tournaments or come dressed as your favourite characters to participate in the fun cosplay competitions. There’s also a selection of animated cult-classics this year. So, whatever you’re a fanboy or fangirl of - Geekdom has something for you from the cool cosplay day to edge-of-your-seat video game tournaments, and more.

Geekdom is a truly unique community engagement platform. It offers diverse and unique experiences for people to showcase their passion for motion arts and visual storytelling (Art, Film, Video games, Comic books, Animation and Television). So come join Geekdom as it showcases everything unique and ingenious in motion arts and visual storytelling at Katara Buildings 18 and 19.

19 - 21 and 23 November:10 am - 10 pm
22 November: 2 pm - 10 pm

10. Ajyal Tunes

Image credit: DFI

At Ajyal, we love to support artists from every discipline. This year, we turn a spotlight on our underground local music scene by bringing together Qatar-based performers and internationally acclaimed musicians. Bring your friends and chill with the artists over the weekend at one of our intimate community gatherings. Exclusive line-up will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

21 - 23 November: 8:30 pm - 11:30 pm
Entrance is free

Bonus: more films and events

Over the course of six days, you will enjoy some of the very best in local, regional and international cinema, bringing audiences of all generations together for an invaluable exchange of culture through film. There's something from everyone no matter what their age is in many different languages so they can be enjoyed by a diverse range of cultures and nationalities in Qatar.

For more information on what's playing at the Ajyal Film Festival 2019 and what kind of events you can look forward to, click on the following link:

Ajyal Film Festival 2019 tickets

Tickets for the 7th Ajyal Film Festival are available at the Ajyal Main Box Office located in Katara Building 10; at the Ajyal Box Office at VOX Cinemas Doha Festival City for screenings taking place at VOX Cinemas; and from the Novo Cinemas Box Office for screenings at Novo Cinemas, the Pearl.

For ticket purchase, please visit:
For more up-to-date information on the Ajyal Film Festival 2019, please visit:

Follow us on our social media to get updates fast! -> Instagram @ilqlive l Twitter @ilqlive l [email protected]