Ajyal festival to showcase the works of local talents
November 11 2015 11:56 PM

By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) will highlight Ajyal Youth Film Festival’s ‘Made in Qatar’ section to showcase the works of homegrown talents.
Speaking at a press conference about the annual festival recently, DFI CEO and festival director Fatma al-Remaihi stressed the importance of propagating Qatari values through filmmaking.
She said ‘Made in Qatar’ provides a rich experience that hones young and passionate talents, giving them an avenue to further enhance their skills and spark their creativity.
“These films tackle local issues and tell stories in the Qatari perspective,” al-Remaihi noted, adding that the section focuses on documentaries, as well as feature and essay films.
DFI wants to continue its annual film celebration of homegrown talents (Qatari filmmakers and ‘those who call Qatar home’) at the third edition of the festival.
One of the short films was directed by a young student, Sana al-Ansari titled If They Only Knew which aims to inspire and raise awareness on how to lessen and gradually stop fatal accidents on Qatar’s roads.
The film made it to the Thimun Qatar Northwestern Film Festival and has been nominated for three awards: Best National Film, Best Editing and Best Sound.  
Some of the ‘Made in Qatar’ films which will be screened at the festival include Bird (dark comedy), a story about a strange bird mercilessly teasing a young girl who was caught cheating on an exam; Charlie (documentary), which is about a student with a learning disorder but managed to struggle in school, and Man of the House, which touches on themes of responsibility with a clever genre twist.
Besides ‘Made in Qatar,’ the Ajyal programme consists of daily public screenings of local and international films which include SONY Cinema Under the Stars; Family Weekend; the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Ajyal Competition, where hundreds of young jurors between the ages of 8 and 21 will watch and discuss shorts and features and decide on the winning films. Tickets go on sale on November 16.
The third edition of the festival will take place from November 29 to December 5 at Katara - the Cultural Village.
Al-Remaihi also announced that Academy Award nominated director Hany Abu-Assad and Arab Idol champion Mohamed Assaf will be attending the opening night.
She said the talented duo will provide an in-depth discussion about bringing Assaf’s life story to the big screen and highlight the power of combining music and cinema and the challenges facing Arab artists today.

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