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Master the art of media with ‘Our Children First!’ Industry Forum at Ajyal Youth Film Festival

Nov 22, 2013

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Industry Programs focuses on the impact of media on young audiences

Doha, Qatar; November 22nd, 2013: The inaugural Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, aims at introducing an extensive array of industry events held under the theme ‘Our Children First!’

The Festival features a two-day Industry Forum that spans the spectrum of filmmaking and the media. On 27 and 28 November 2013 the Ajyal Youth Film Festival will host a rich and enlightening experience to 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 by highlighting the spoken word, rhythm, song, poetry, and technology, in sessions led by experts from the regional and international film industry.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director, Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said: “It’s very important that our young and aspiring filmmakers not only learn about the process of filmmaking, but also understand how the media can play a big part in influencing a film or project. The ‘Our Children First! Forum at the Festival will provide an interactive platform to discuss issues related to the creation of original content for young audiences; from the likes of social media helping grow and build support, right through to understanding how local productions create quality programmes. This is a really insightful part of the Festival that aims to bring together local, regional and international experts working in Children and Youth Media who are keen to collaborate and exchange knowledge.”

On 27 November 2013, Industry Forum’s sub-theme is Mossowa- Equality and will commence with a series of global presentations including new media; social media; production; animation; policy, research, regulation and distribution. The forum is aimed at encouraging interaction and stimulating dialogue among industry professionals; the sessions will also shed light on the importance of media literacy, specifically looking at the reach and influence of media.

‘Getting Social with media; let the games begin,’ is a panel dedicated to social media and gaming. It will highlight the latest trends in media, and look at how new media can play a vital role in elevating a product, content, or communication; while the ‘Production Forum,’ hosted by an array of international speakers, will show how local content in their respective countries have captured audiences – from Bollywood to Hollywood.

Day two of the Industry Forum, 28 November 2013, will begin with a discussion on local productions, specifically looking at what is needed to produce quality local programmes for children. The next session is on animation, and who the creators of quality animation for young people are. The session will try to answer one of the most inexplicable questions: ‘do animated films need the voice of a star?’

Policy, research, and regulation are the topics for the afternoon, where panelists will discuss policies in filmmaking in the Middle East and North Africa. Thereafter, an in-depth understanding of film festivals, and its role in creating opportunities for distribution, marketing and financing.

The festival also orgnised pre-industry workshops in association with the Childhood Cultural Centre to explain the concept and importance of focus groups in film. The workshops included the screening of an animation film, “The Hero and the Message” by Al Rayyan Productions, to give children the opportunity to discuss the film and in particular the characters, design, and content. Also during the pre-industry event, young people had the opportunity to enter a competition to design the banners for ‘Our Children First! ‘Industry Forum.

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.

For more details on Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit