Qatar’s home-grown film industry marks another milestone in its evolution with the Doha Film Institute showcasing 17 captivating ‘Made in Qatar’ films at the fourth edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival to be held at Katara Cultural Village from November 30 to December 5, 2016.
One of the most popular segments of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, the programme was conceptualised in 2009 as a platform to screen one-minute films from Qatar based aspiring filmmakers, and has since then grown into an integral programming strand highlighting the diversity of creative talent that exists in Qatar.
The programme has witnessed remarkable evolution over the years in the diversity of storytelling, quality of filmmaking and narrative styles, and increased representation from national talents especially from young women filmmakers, and is now recognised as the definite platform to discover the talent of Qatari filmmakers and those who call Qatar home.
This year, Ajyal brings two programmes of short films that include narratives, documentaries and essays, and marks a milestone with the world premieres of the first completed projects from the 2015 Qatar Film Fund recipients; Al-Johara and Amer-An Arabian Legend, and The Waiting Room and Kashta, recipients of the Institute’s Grants Programme.
The dedicated showcase curates an annual slate of films conceptualised and produced by the new generation of filmmaking talent including Qatari directors and filmmakers based in the country. Several of these films are made by independent filmmakers, students of Qatar University or Northwestern University in Qatar, or with the support of the Doha Film Institute’s workshops and funding programmes.
An eminent jury of film industry professionals will evaluate the ‘Made in Qatar’ showcase to award the Best Film. This year, the jury comprises Bahraini actress Haifa Hussain, Director of the Fire Station Gallery Khalifa Al-Obaidly and Emirati director and producer Nayla Al Khaja.
Following their screenings at Ajyal, the Doha Film Institute curates a special travelling series of Made in Qatar films that are screened at markets of international film festivals including Clermont-Ferrand, Cannes Short Film Corner, Berlinale, Dubai International Film Festival, Giffoni Film Festival and Sarajevo Film Festival among others.
Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director and CEO of Doha Film Institute, said: “The ‘Made in Qatar’ films are our national pride. They reflect the founding aspiration of the Doha Film Institute and our continued focus on film education, funding and support to nurture a new generation of filmmaking professionals, right here in Qatar.
“This year’s focus on short films was led by our vision to not only extend the opportunity to more talents but also to challenge the creativity and executional brilliance of our filmmakers. Short films are a tough medium to execute; their brevity makes the effort more challenging and we wanted our young filmmakers to bring out their best.
“Each film in ‘Made in Qatar’ this year is an outstanding example of the creative standards of our filmmakers and their ability to push boundaries in making their dream film. This year’s programme is extra special for us as it includes the world premieres of the first completed projects from the Qatar Film Fund. We are also happy to note several young filmmakers returning with their second films. This underlines the positive environment that Qatar offers them to evolve as professional filmmakers. We hope that every member of the community will come to Ajyal to watch their works, encourage them and take pride in our very own filmmakers.”
The selection of films, which will be screened in the ‘Made in Qatar’ segment at the 2016 Ajyal Youth Film Festival includes:
Amer: An Arabian Legend and Al-Johara are recipients of the 2016 Qatari Film Fund while Kashta and The Waiting Room received funding support from the DFI grants programme in 2015.
The ‘Made in Qatar’ films will be screened with a Red Carpet ceremony to be attended by the young filmmakers on Thursday, December 1 at 7 PM at Katara Drama Theatre. Tickets are priced QR25 and are available at the Ajyal Box Office from Wednesday, 16 November at 2:00 PM.
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