The curtain rises today on the inaugural edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), at Katara The Cultural Village.
A total of 65 films from 30 countries, an extensive programme of industry and community events, and five days of film, art, and cultural activities, are set to take the centre stage.
Marking the culmination of year-round film initiatives, the festival aims to instil a stronger appreciation of film among audiences of all ages.
“The inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival is a festival for and about young people that will be an important highlight in Qatar’s growing cultural landscape,” stated Abdulaziz al-Khater, CEO, DFI.
“Ajyal provides young audiences with an opportunity to learn from each other, discuss, debate and contribute to positive changes around them.”
Fatma al-Remaihi, festival director, Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said that over the next five days, festival-goers of all ages would be in for an exciting line-up of films and events that aim to encourage dialogue and discussion.
“Through Ajyal, we hope to create an environment that will encourage our youth to contribute to the development of quality original content for them. We are confident that the inaugural edition of the festival will unravel the power of film and provide a unique educational experience in a fun and interactive environment.”
Headlining the festival is the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) Premiere of the critically-acclaimed anime film, The Wind Rises (Japan, 2013), by renowned filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.
The Wind Rises along with five anime classics will serve as a tribute to the art and culture of the Japanese art form anime.
Leading regional film talent, including Abdulrahman Alaqel, Ali al-Rayes, Haya al-Shuaibi, Huda Hussain, Tareq al-Ali, Sultan al-Ali and Abdulnasser al-Zayer, will grace the red carpet today.
Other talent in attendance includeAbdulla Abdulaziz, Ali Abdulsatar, Hilal Mohamed Hilal, Jassem al-Ansari, Najwa, Pascal Plisson, Saad Burshaid, Salah al-Mulla and Salah Darwish Abdullah among others.
The festival will also host the “Doha Film Experience”, with young jurors from ages 8 to 21, given the opportunity to watch 21 short films and eight feature films under three categories: “Family Weekend”, promising two days of back-to-back activities, designed to bring the entire family together; the “Otaku Exhibition”, where a number of galleries will showcase the works of various artists and social clubs at the event; and the “Sandbox”, an interactive space that will inspire and entertain young people with the latest in media and digital technologies, in addition to an array of workshops and screenings.
The festival also features a two-day Industry Forum that will discuss the importance and influences of media and the impact it has on younger audiences. The “Our Children First!” forum aims at shedding light on every facet of media through a hands-on approach highlighting the spoken word, rhythm, song, poetry, and technology, in sessions led by experts from the regional and international children and youth media industry, to discuss issues related to the creation of original content for the young.
Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds on the Doha Film Institute’s history of community-based programming.
Tickets are available at the Box Office of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, in Katara and City Center Doha. More information could be had from www.dohafilminstitute.com
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