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Ajyal Youth Film Festival to host a rich showcase of international ‘Special Screenings’

Nov 11, 2013

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Programming to support ‘Education Above All Foundation’
Special ‘Qatar Year of Culture Cinema Showcase’ to commemorate Qatar’s official ongoing relations

Doha, Qatar; November 11, 2013: Doha Film Institute is set to showcase an extensive line-up of films under the ‘Special Screenings’ segment at the inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival, to be held at The Cultural Village Katara, from November 26 to 30, 2013.

Featuring a trove of films from Brazil, Canada, France, Mexico, Palestine, Qatar, Spain, UK, and USA, the ‘Special Screenings’ segment will also host the screening of Pascal Plisson’s ‘On the Way to School’ (2013), in collaboration with the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) in support of its Educate A Child programme. Founded and chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, EAA is a foundation committed to bringing opportunities to poor and marginalized children, youth and women in the developing world.

A highlight of the ‘Special Screenings’ segment is the ‘Qatar Year of Culture Cinema Showcase’, marking the collaborative efforts of the Doha Film Institute with the British Council and Qatar Museums Authority, in celebrating the power of classic and contemporary films from the British canon. The screening from the UK will be followed by a film from Brazil, commemorating Qatar’s ongoing official relations with Brazil.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director, Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said: “The ‘Special Screenings’ showcase at Ajyal Youth Film Festival is the Doha Film Institute’s salute to classic and contemporary cinema, and its role in bridging cultures. Featuring narratives from the West and insights from the East, this dedicated line-up of films is guaranteed to broaden the horizons of every moviegoer.”

Through 2013, the Doha Film Institute partnered with the British Council and Qatar Museum’s Authority to present monthly screenings. These celebrations will culminate with a special screening of British director Arthur Landon’s ‘Side by Side’ (2013). When their grandmother falls ill, Lauren and her younger brother, Harvey, must keep their wits about them in order to avoid being split up and sent into foster care. Their search for their long-lost grandfather shows them that, in spite of all their differences, when they are side by side they are strong enough to deal with anything.

The film will be preceded by the screening of ‘Carioca Soul’ (2002) by Brazilian filmmaker William Côgo, symbolising the handover of Qatar’s ongoing official relations with Brazil and the start of a new celebration for 2014. The film is a powerful portrayal of a young boy who sees the emergence of choro music in Rio de Janeiro, a style that came to represent social and racial diversity in Brazil.

Nitin Sawhney and Roger Hill’s Palestine and USA film, ‘Flying Paper’ (2013), is an uplifting documentary on children in Gaza, who are on a quest to scoop the Guinness World Record for the most kites ever flown, showcasing the creative resilience of a group of young Palestinians who make and fly their kites, despite the difficulties of their everyday surroundings.

‘On the Way to School’ (2013), a co-production between France and Mexico, by Pascal Plisson follows four students – Jackson, Zahira, Samuel, and Carlito, from Morocco, Kenya, India, and Argentina, respectively, the film relays their confrontation with dangerous obstacles. From enormous distances over treacherous territory, snakes, elephants, and even bandits, to their journey to the classroom, the film depicts how the four of them leave their childhood behind by embarking on an adventure scattered with challenges.

‘A Shout from Within’ (2013) by Jan Xavier Pacle from Qatar, captures the lives of eight students from the Filipino community in Qatar, all from different backgrounds, each with their own personal struggles to overcome, in a narrative underscoring acceptance and reconciliation.

Canadian filmmaker Eric Tessier’s ‘The Pee-Wee 3D: The Winter That Changed My Life’ (2012), conveys the determination and dedication of 12-year-old Janaeu, to make it to the pee-wee hockey team in a hockey-obsessed community in Quebec.

Voiced by an all-star cast, Manuel Sicilia’s Spanish film, ‘Justin and the Knights of Valour’ (2013), is a charming animated 3D adventure for all ages, in the vein of beloved classic sagas and fairytales.

Tickets for the ‘Special Screenings’ are available at the Box Office of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, in The Cultural Village Katara and City Centre. For more details on the programme, please visit:

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds on the Doha Film Institute’s history of community-based programming. Ajyal invites generations to come together to discuss cinema through events that inspire creative interaction, opening up a fun, collaborative environment where young people can express themselves.