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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival to be held at Ritz Carlton Doha


After rescheduling its film festival earlier this year, Al Jazeera has announced that this year’s event will be held at the Ritz Carlton Doha from Oct. 23 to 26, the Peninsula reports.

The 10th edition of Al Jazeera’s International Documentary Film Festival was supposed to be held in April at the Sheraton Doha, but was postponed after that hotel suddenly closed for renovations. It is slated to reopen in December.

In March, Abbas Arnaout, the festival’s director, told Doha News that the team was given very short notice about the hotel’s closing, which ultimately prompted organizers to postpone the film event:

“We found ourselves in a tight spot having to try and find another venue on such short notice. The alternatives we found were not readily available, especially that the place we choose has to meet certain criteria, such as having enough halls to screen multiple screenings simultaneously and to technically suitable for screenings as well.”

Marking 10 years

The film festival is free and open to the public.

This year, 910 films were submitted from a record-breaking 110 countries, out of which 161 films from 60 countries have been selected for the festival.

The theme for next month’s event is “Steps,” which was chosen to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary, signifying the progress made over the past decade.

Also to mark the occasion, organizers said this year’s festival would include a number of additional activities, workshops and exhibitions.

As with previous years, the films are classified in four categories:

  • Short Films (up to 29 min.) – 45 entries;
  • Medium Films (from 30 min. up to 59 min.) – 51 entries;
  • Long Films (more than 60 min.) – 34 entries; and
  • The New Horizon Competition – 31 entries.

This year has seen a significant response from the youth compared to previous years, with a high number of entries entered into the New Horizon category, according to Al Jazeera.

The New Horizon category is dedicated to amateur or beginner filmmakers.

Responding to the overall increase in entries this year, two new awards have been introduced — Best Camerawork and Best Director — as well as additional venues screening films.

A total of QR600,000 and awards like Al Jazeera Golden Award, Jury Award and Al Jazeera Documentary Channel Award are up for grabs.

A 15-member panel of international judges will be evaluating and rewarding filmmakers’ works.

Do you plan to attend the festival? Thoughts?


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Bruce Browne
Bruce Browne
7 years ago

In the past, this has been a wonderful film festival; an opportunity to see a large number of films that aren’t in wide circulation. Plan to attend if you are in Doha!

7 years ago

Please can you keep us up to date on this – when and where films will be shown. It’s often so hard to find information about the details of things like this, so anything you can give us here will be much appreciated!

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Hello, Im Sri Lankan. I work on building site in Doha. Can I come in and see the film?…No..ohh ok I get it….

Anwar Sadath
Anwar Sadath
6 years ago

Am on the way.. Will share the experience later….

Anwar Sadath
Anwar Sadath
6 years ago

Just finished opening ceremony.. Really nice experience.. There were two docs today.. one about palestine and other one about india… Both were awesome… Don miss it.. have a nice time..

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