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Curtains rise on the inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival

Nov 25, 2013

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Doha, Qatar; November 25, 2013: Sixty-five 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 centrestage, as curtains rise on the inaugural edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute.

Marking the culmination of year-round film initiatives, the festival aims to instill a stronger appreciation of film among audiences of all ages, and will be held at The Cultural Village Katara from November 26- 30, 2013.

Abdulaziz Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer, Doha Film Institute, said: “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. Ajyal provides young audiences with an opportunity to learn from each other, discuss, debate and contribute to positive changes around them. We are proud to have young people sharing their enthusiasm and developing a deeper appreciation of film. This is their platform – for self-expression and creativity.”

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director, Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said: “Over the next five days, festival-goers of all ages are 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 also serve as a tribute to the art and culture of the Japanese art form anime, followed widely by youth across the region.

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 on the opening night. Other talent in attendance include: Abdulla Abdulaziz; Ali Abdulsatar; Hilal Mohammed 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,’ where film education and appreciation is set to take a whole new course, as young jurors from ages 8 to 21, will be given the opportunity to watch 21 short films and eight feature films, under three categories – Mohaq, Hilal, and Bader; ‘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 enriching 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. ‘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. Ajyal invites generations to come together to discuss cinema through workshops that inspire creative interaction, opening up a fun, collaborative environment where young people can express themselves.

Tickets 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: