Doha – MENA Herald:  The Doha Film Institute unveiled highlights of its industry programme today as part of its third annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival line-up.

A series of panels & masterclasses, industry workshops and networking sessions form part of the third Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit, which will take place during the three day industry programme scheduled from November 30th – December 2nd 2015 at Katara Cultural Village.

One of the main highlights of the sessions will be a panel titled “Children in Conflict Areas: Empowering Youth to Share their Stories”, a ticketed event open to the public.

The session will focus on how young people’s lives around the world have been disrupted by socio-political conflict, illness and poverty, and highlight the importance of film and media as tools to help children share their stories.  

Panellists include photojournalist Matthew Cassel; Charlotte Giese, the Danish Film Institute’s specialist advisor for youth and children; Mr. Mohammed Abu Asaker, Public Information Officer from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Middle East and North Africa Bureau; Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director of Reach Out to Asia, and Farooq Burney, director of Education Above All’s Al Fakhoora programme.

The third instalment of the summit, which takes place alternately in Doha and Giffoni, will welcome more than 40 delegates from 31 countries around the world to participate.  The international collective of like-minded organisations was formed out of the Doha Film Institute’s ongoing partnership with the Giffoni Experience, with the aim to create an international network of film and media industry leaders and organisations working with young people through film and media.

Sharing a common goal to engage and enrich the lives of young people, summit delegates will discuss ideas and share knowledge and experience in a forum focused on tackling the challenges of the rapidly changing media sphere, and help guide the next generation of creative minds in the way they experience the world.

Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit workshops will focus on neurocommunication – how to harness the brain’s decision-making processes, and digital communication through a panel “The Digital World: How to Speak the Language of Youth” with speakers including social media expert and Entube Brand Ambassador, Yuri Drabent and entrepreneur and celebrity instagrammer, Max Stanton.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of Doha Film Institute and Ajyal Youth Film Festival Director, commented, “Our diverse industry programme this year tackles a variety of timely and relevant subjects. We are particularly proud to be hosting an important session on how film and media can empower children affected by conflict. In light of the ongoing conflicts throughout our own region and beyond, it is more important than ever to highlight the importance of culture as a tool to create a better world for our youth. This topic has been raised in our previous gatherings so am I am very pleased to offer our delegates an opportunity to build on this discussion even further with the added insight of specialists with first-hand knowledge in this area.”

Giffoni Experience Director Claudio Gubitosi said: “The Doha Film Institute and Giffoni Experience have promoted this mutual project with the clear idea that the road to knowledge is fundamental to fullfill the needs of humanity. Our mission appears even more fortified with the participation of organisations from challenged and conflict areas of the world. The Summit held in Giffoni last July was aimed at creating collaborative projects among the members of the Planet-Y network. On this occasion in Doha we shall explore the possibilities to go one step further and draw a road map for the future. Strengthening, integrating and developing a shared strategy can only make our sometimes complex task easier. I would like to thank Fatma Al Remaihi and her team who have worked with great passion to make this event possible.”

The third annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival will be held from Nov 29 – Dec 5 at Katara. The programme consists of daily public screenings of local and international films; the popular ‘Made in Qatar’ section dedicated to showcasing home-grown talent from Qatar; SONY Cinema Under the Stars; family weekend; the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Ajyal Competition, where hundreds of young jurors between the ages of 8 and 21 will watch and discuss shorts and features and decide on the winning films.

For more information on the movie timings and the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, visit ajyalfilm.com