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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Japanese anime to take center stage at first Ajyal Youth Film Festival



Qatar’s new youth film festival, Ajyal, will host the regional premiere of critically-acclaimed anime film The Wind Rises by Hayao Miyazaki, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) has announced.

The Wind Rises is based on a short story written by mid-20th century writer Tatsuo Hori, about the life of the designer of the Mitsubishi A5M airplane and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, both of which were used for battle in World War II.

The film, which will open Ajyal on November 26th, is part of a festival-wide tribute to Japanese animation.

From November 27th to 30th, Katara will host an ‘Otaku’ exhibition, which will feature a number of galleries showcasing the works of local artists and social clubs, all inspired by anime and manga.

The festival will also offer visitors the opportunity to take part in workshops including ‘The Making of a Comic Book’, ‘Qatari Japanese Traditional Games’, costume making, origami making, and Anime history.

And there will even a cosplay (costume) contest on Nov. 29 with awards for Best Male, Best Female, Best Group, and Open Category.

Japanese animation has a growing following in Qatar, according to Festival Director Fatma Al Remaihi:

“Doha’s creative community has seen an increased interest in the art of Anime. From the selection of illustrated novels to filmmakers’ diversification into creating animated films, the city is now home to a vibrant fan-base of Anime loyalists.

The ‘Otaku Exhibition’, which will act as a social hub, is a great showcase of this popular culture as seen through the creativity of local and regional artists lending their support to this burgeoning art form.”

New festival

Ajyal is part of DFI’s plans to retool its offerings following the end of its partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

From Nov. 26 to 30, Ajyal will screen films competing in feature narrative and short films categories, as well as a Made in Qatar segment.

They will be targeted at three key age groups: Mohaq ( ‘New Moon’) for 8- to 12-year-olds; Hilal (‘Crescent Moon’) for 13- to 17-year-olds; and Bader (‘Full Moon’) for 18- to 21-year-olds.

The festival is also inviting young people to apply to sit on the festival’s judging panel, and families in Qatar are being challenged to produce a five minute film in 48 hours, with the winner being screened at the festival.

All festival screenings will take place at Katara. Tickets have yet to go on sale, but they will be available online, festival organisers have told us.

Will you be taking part? Thoughts?


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Bert Da Expert
Bert Da Expert
8 years ago

awesome. ill be attending.. its the last hoorah of one the most influential and epic animators and producers of our time.

Nabil Al Nashar
Nabil Al Nashar
8 years ago

I will have the honor and great pleasure of MCing this 🙂

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