Wednesday 8, June 2016

Doha – MENA Herald: The Doha Film Institute today announced that the fourth edition of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival will be held from November 30 to December 5, 2016.

‘Ajyal’, Arabic for ‘generations’, brings people of all ages together through screenings and events that inspire creative interaction and stimulate cinematic dialogue. Youth participation is at the heart of the Festival and its jury programme which provides young people between the ages of 8 and 21 with an opportunity to watch, analyse and discuss films from all over the world, developing critical thinking, self-expression, and an appreciation of cinema.

The Cultural Village Foundation-Katara continues as the ‘Cultural Partner’ to the Festival for the fourth year running. Occidental Petroleum Corporation will serve as a ‘Principal Partner’ marking its fourth year of partnership with the Institute, further building on its commitment to the local community by playing an active role in nurturing talent and strengthening Qatar’s cultural landscape.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute and Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said: “We look forward to building on the successes of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival that proved that films can do more than just entertain; it can educate, inspire and bring communities together. One of the key initiatives of the Doha Film Institute in developing Arab voices is fostering an understanding and appreciation of positive cinema among children and youth. This is reflected in the Ajyal Jurors, whereby youth from across the world, celebrate world cinema through dialogue and discussion, challenging their thought process and helping shape perceptions about issues affecting today’s youth.”

The third Ajyal Youth Film Festival hosted nearly 600 young jurors of 45 nationalities, alongside a dynamic public programme of screenings and events which included the MENA premiere of Hany Abu Assad’s The Idol, the world premiere of Bilal, the first animated feature from the GCC region and the first of its kind inclusive cinema experience in the region, the screening of Hero and the Message to mark UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The film programme featured 80 films from 36 countries along with 50 public screenings and a range of interactive panels, masterclasses and workshops designed to educate, engage and entertain. The line-up included the Middle East Premieres of Pixar Animation Studios The Good Dinosaur, Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear-winner, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, one of the final anime sensations from Ghibli Studios, When Marnie Was There, Doha Film Institute grantee Lamb by Yared Zeleke and Cannes ‘Un Certain Regard’ opener An, by Japanese director and Qumra 2016 master Naomi Kawase, along with a programme of 17 films by Qatar-based filmmakers that screened in the popular Made in Qatar section.

The festival also presented the third edition of the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit, hosted by the Doha Film Institute in partnership with Italy’s Giffoni Experience, where it showcased its Planet-Y initiative with five projects that will be nurtured in the coming months to promote the inclusive growth of youth talent around the world, especially in conflict areas.

Ajyal 2015 also hosted the ‘Ajyal Creativity Hub’ which offered guests an opportunity to explore an out-of-cinema experience, helping them discover the latest in technology, the media arts and world cultures. The Ajyal Creativity Hub hosted specially curated workshops, performances and fun activities devised to spark the imagination and promote creativity. Key components of the Ajyal Creativity Hub, which is free for the public to attend, include the popular Sandbox digital exhibition space, Family Weekend activities, and the festival’s special 2015 initiative – Geekdom: Video Game Exhibition.

More details will be announced in the coming months. Registration for the youth jury will open in September.