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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Qatar’s fourth Ajyal Youth Film Festival to showcase local talent

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A scene from Al Johara by Nora Al-Subai
A scene from Al Johara by Nora Al-Subai

This year, the Ajyal Film Festival will celebrate more local film-making talent than ever before, organizers have said.

Some 17 home-grown short films will screen at the Doha Film Institute (DFI) festival. Now in its fourth year, it will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 at Katara Cultural Village.

The event’s “Made in Qatar” section will feature a record number of short films directed and produced by Qatar residents, including the first films made by recipients of DFI and Qatar Film Fund grants.

They include Nora Al-Subai’s Al-Johara, Jassim Al-Rumaihi’s Amer-An Arabian Legend, Hend Fakhroo’s The Waiting Room and AJ Al Thani’s Kashta.

“This year’s program is extra special for us, as it includes the world premieres of the first completed projects from the Qatar Film Fund,” festival director Fatma Al Remaihi said in a statement.

She added:

“We are also happy to note several young filmmakers returning with their second films. This underlines the positive environment that Qatar offers them to evolve as professional filmmakers.”

Young jurors

Ajyal means “generations” in Arabic, and the festival caters to young people ages 8 to 21 years old.

Each year, organizers encourage young people from around the world to apply to become jurors, deciding which films should win Ajyal’s Best Film Awards.

In 2015, nearly 600 people from 45 different countries took part. Selection for this year’s jurors took place in September, and is now closed.

As well as their judging duties, young jurors will attend DFI workshops to help develop their media literacy and to teach them about how films are made, DFI said in a statement.

All 17 “Made in Qatar” films will be screened at a special ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7pm at the Katara Drama Theater.

Tickets will be priced QR25 and will go on sale on Nov. 16. The full line-up of films for the festival is yet to be announced.

Do you plan to go? Thoughts?

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