Sign in Register
Posted On: 3 November 2019 02:06 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:05 pm

Ajyal Film Festival 2019 to have 96 films from 39 countries

Binu Cherian
Binu Cherian
Discuss here!
Start a discussion

The seventh Ajyal Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will present a compelling slate of 96 films from 39 countries that demonstrate the power of storytelling to transform minds, and will inspire audiences and stimulate discussions about real and relevant issues that affect them.

The six-day event, to be held from November 18- 23 at Katara Cultural Village, will feature public screenings, Ajyal jury screenings, interactive discussions, red carpet events, and community-oriented activities that will delight all ages. Ajyal 2019 is expanding its public screenings beyond Katara to include screenings at Novo Cinemas in the Pearl and VOX Cinemas at Doha Festival City.

This year’s Opening Night Gala of Ajyal Film Festival will present 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.

Tickets for the 7th Ajyal Film Festival are available for purchase from today, November 3rd 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 the Novo Cinemas Pearl. For up-to-date information and ticket purchase please visit:

Drawn from distinctive milieus from around the world, Ajyal Film Festival continues to showcase directors of all backgrounds and stages of their careers. The diverse programme consists of 23 features and 73 shorts, including 50 from the Arab World and 56 by women filmmakers.

Ajyal 2019 shines the spotlight on emerging voices from Sudan with the special Focus on Sudan section that will present two award-winning films by the nation’s emerging cinematic voices. Talking About Trees (2019), a DFI-supported documentary by director Suhaib Gasmelbari, and Amjad Abu Alala’s You Will Die at Twenty (2016), 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.

There will be 73 films from across the globe including a selection of contemporary short films from up-and-coming directors from India as part of the Made in India special presentation, to celebrate the ‘Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture’. Curated by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images, the shorts offer us an insight into modern India and are a testament to the country’s vibrant filmmaking heritage.

The 2019 Made in Qatar programme presented by Ooredoo comprises 22 inspiring films, including the world premieres of next completed projects from the Qatari Film Fund recipients, Ahmad Al Sharif’s End of the Road and Kholood Al-Ali’s Fragile, shining the spotlight on Qatari talents and presenting our stories to the world.

Ajyal 2019 is proud to host some key personalities in films, arts and humanity from Qatar and international; Master filmmakers Elia Suleiman and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, upcoming Arab filmmakers Amjad Abu Alala and Oualid Mouness, visual artist Bouthayna Al-Muftah, filmmakers Jason Silva 3 in partnership with WISE-Qatar Foundation and Gitanjali Rao, actor and producer Chace Crawford in partnership with beIN and Sundance TV and actor Kris Hitchen among others.

Ajyal 2019 will also screen 19 films supported by the DFI Grants programme, co-financing, Qatari Film Fund or projects mentored through its labs and workshops. These include: It Must Be Heaven, To the Ends of the Earth, 1982, Bombay Rose, You Will Die at Twenty among others.

The Jury Competition line-up at Ajyal 2019 will consist of 15 feature films and a series of short programmes. This year, we have over 400 jurors from 41 nationalities including 48 international jurors who will travel to Doha for the event from Armenia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Italy, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mozambique, Oman, Palestine, Turkey, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. Each jury category of Mohaq, Hilal, and Bader will watch a carefully curated selection of films, discuss them collectively and with industry experts, evaluate the individual creative and emotional
impact of these films, and participate in events including panels, workshops and Q&A sessions
with filmmakers.

Ajyal Creativity Hub presents a vibrant programme of cultural and creative activities which includes Qatar’s largest and one-of-its-kind pop-culture event Geekdom, a dynamic approach in the community in Qatar to discover and engage with alternate forms of media; Ajyal Talks – gathering leaders from film, art, television and technology for inspiring and insightful discussions on a broad range of topics, the new Ajyal Tunes, which will shine the spotlight on the country’s underground music scene by bringing together Qatar-based performers and internationally
acclaimed musicians; and the ARC Exhibition celebrating the art of storytelling.

2019 Ajyal Film Festival’s Official Partners include: Katara Cultural Village – Cultural Partner; Qatar National Tourism Council – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas, Ooredoo– Strategic Partner, St. Regis Doha- Signature Partner. is proud to be a media partner for this year's Ajyal Film Festival.

Source: Press release