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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Doha prepares to ‘Press Play!’ with 9th Ajyal Film Festival from Nov. 7 to 13

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The seven-day film festival will start on November 7.

The ninth edition of Ajyal Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will deliver a week-long calendar of film screenings and community-oriented events under the theme ‘Press Play!’ to celebrate the spirit of togetherness and the resilience of the nation in addressing the pandemic.

Audiences across the city can participate in the diverse offerings, with the Festival’s physical presence to include locations at Katara, Sikkat Wadi Msheireb, Lusail and Vox Cinemas Doha Festival City.

[DFI]
Presenting an innovative hybrid model that adheres to all governmental guidelines regarding venue capacity and safety protocols, the seven-day festival from Nov. 7 to 13, 2021, has an impressive slate of 85 films from 44 countries including Qatar, in a compelling selection of 31 feature films and 54 shorts that highlight first-time, emerging, and accomplished cinematic voices.

Building on the continued success of the Festival and its public programme, Ajyal’s strong reputation for curating award-winning international films is reflected in this year’s line-up which includes 22 incredible films by Arab filmmakers and 32 films by women directors, demonstrating how female talent are increasingly tell stories through cinema with conviction and creativity. The diversity of the selection highlights the creative work of talented filmmakers, who continued to pursue their passion despite the challenges of the pandemic

This year’s Ajyal Film Festival will open with A Hero, directed by Academy Award winning Iranian film legend and DFI collaborator Asghar Farhadi. The film won the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and is a compelling film with a slice of life story that will resonate with all.

[DFI]
True to his signature style, A Hero is poignant and understated, and the moral dilemma the film unearths demonstrates Farhadi’s unique ability to turn ordinary human situations into cinematic masterpieces.

Ajyal 2021 will feature 13 films supported by the Doha Film Institute, including recipients of the Spring/Fall Grants, co-financing, Qatari Film Fund and mentorship through the year-long labs and workshops. DFI supported films this year include 1982, And Then They Burn the Sea, Border, Costa Brava, Lebanon, Don’t Get Too Comfortable, Fever Dream, Land of Dreams, Little Palestine, Diary of a Siege Night, Olayan, Orca, School of Hope and Virtual Voice.

The 2021 Made in Qatar programme presented by Ooredoo, will celebrate 10 promising young talents who are realising their cinematic ambitions, with some who presented their stories to international audiences at leading film events in Locarno and Venice. These films reflect the diversity of our nation and the region, the richness of our culture and traditions, and the rise of our country to its rightful position on the world stage.

[DFI]
Following the success of DFI’s drive-in cinema in partnership with the Qatar National Tourism Council, Ajyal 2021 returns to celebrate the communal film-going experience. Drive-in cinema screenings include 101 Dalmatians, Annabelle, Child’s Play, Harry Potter, The Philosopher’s Stone, The Conjuring and two brilliant animations – Maya the Bee – The Golden Orb and 101 Dalmatians.

The Ajyal Creativity Hub is a destination for film, art and music lovers to be immersed in multisensory experiences. Key activities available in person activities include Geekdom, Qatar’s largest and one-of-its-kind pop-culture event; Ajyal Talks, gathering leaders from film, art, television and technology for inspiring and insightful discussions; and Ajyal Tunes, celebrating the country’s musical talents at themed concerts.

Drawing inspiration from the Al-Kurd family living in the embattled Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, this year’s Ajyal Film Exhibition, ‘We Will Not Leave’ derives its name from their defiant and now iconic graffiti art. Curated by Sheikh Khalifa Al-Thani, the will bring attention to the everyday struggle of the Palestinian people – through moving pieces by Qatar’s creative community, who have come together in a spirit of solidarity, support and kinship for our Palestinian brother’s and sister’s

For up-to-date information and ticket purchase please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival.

[DFI]
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