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Monday, October 18, 2021

‘Fearless’ Speed Sisters documentary to premiere at DFI film festival


A new documentary about the region’s first all-female motor racing team will debut at the Doha Film Insitute’s (DFI) second annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival.

The action-packed Speed Sisters depicts the realities of a war-stricken West Bank and illustrates how sport helps the racers escape the pressures and fears of life under Israeli military occupation.

The documentary, directed by Lebanese-Canadian Amber Fares, also challenges regional stereotypes, as the women compete to win championships and freedom amid social and gender challenges, community politics and political instability.

In a statement, Fatma Al Remaihi, festival director and acting CEO of DFI, said about the screening:

“We are absolutely thrilled to present the world premiere of Speed Sisters in Doha…

Our festival is dedicated to bringing generations together through cinema, and Speed Sisters is a wonderful example of a film that explores some of the questions and challenges faced by young people in our region around notions of tradition and modernity.”

The documentary will open the festival on Dec. 1. It will be shown for one night only, although other film screenings will run until Dec. 6 at Katara Cultural Village.

Ajyal Youth Film Festival officials have confirmed that Fares would be attending the documentary’s screening, along with members of the cast and crew.

In a statement, Fares said:

“We have spent five years in Palestine bringing this story to the screen and I am very excited that Doha will mark the start of our festival journey. Speed Sisters is a story about five fiercely determined women and their drive to break through the obstacles in their lives in order to stay true to themselves and their dreams.

We felt it was a perfect fit to launch our film at this youth-oriented event in the Middle East in order to celebrate the energy, hopes and creativity of young people in the region.”

Speed Sisters was developed in part with a DFI grant, several international film funds and hundreds of crowdfunding backers worldwide.

One online campaign, set up by the documentary’s director, raised more than $46,000 (QR169,100), far surpassing its goal of $35,000 (QR 127,500).

Watch the trailer below, or see snippets of the filming here.

The festival

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival aims to leverage cinema as a tool to encourage discussion and new young filmmaker talent.

Although the festival is built around regional youth filmmakers, DFI encourages film lovers of all ages to attend screenings and then discuss them together, as the Arabic world Ajyal translates into “generations.”

Ajyal debuted last November as a new offering after DFI ended its four-year partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, with a low yet diverse attendance.

The inaugural festival’s theme was Japanese anime, in a nod to Qatar’s growing local subculture of such aficionados.

This year, no theme has been announced. However, it has been confirmed that the long-awaited animated rendition of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet will make its Middle Eastern debut as part of the festival’s closing night gala.

A full program of screenings will be announced in early November, with tickets going on sale on Nov. 18 at 1pm, DFI officials have confirmed.

Tickets can be purchased on DFI’s website or at several box offices, including:

  • Ajyal Festival Booth (City Center Mall) from Nov. 18 to Dec. 6, (Sat-Wed 2pm-9pm, Thu-Fri 2pm-10pm);
  • Doha Film Institute Katara Drama Theatre Box Office from Nov. 18-27, (1pm-8pm daily);
  • Katara Main Box Office from Nov. 28 – Dec. 6, (28-30 November 1pm-8pm, 1-5 December 1pm-10pm, 6 December 10am-10pm)

Over the six-day festival, a selection of international films, family days, exhibitions, an interactive digital playground and school screenings will be offered.

A Doha Film Experience will also be held, where hundreds of young people ages 8 to 21 years old can watch, discuss and decide on winning films will be offered, according to DFI officials.

Do you plan to watch Speed Sisters or attend the festival? Thoughts?


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6 years ago

No comments on this nice achievement? Is this because we can see their hair???

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