The first-ever hybrid edition of the Ajyal Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), opened with a glamorous red carpet event at Katara - the Cultural Village Wednesday night.
In line with government guidelines and with the health of all Ajyal participants as the top priority, the six-day event will be delivered with a mix of virtual and in-person elements, DFI has said in a statement.
Ali al-Kuwari, acting CEO of Msheireb Properties; with Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute; Abdulla al-Mosallam, DFI chief administrative officer; and Fatma al-Ghanim, DFI director of Marketing and Communications. (Supplied picture)
Jassim al-Rumaihi (filmmaker), with Saad Bu Rashid (head of Theatrical Activities, 2015 Qatar Film Fund juror) and Abdulla al-Mosallam. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Maryam al-Suwaidi and Mohamed al-Suwaidi. (Supplied picture)
Miramax CEO Bill Block with author Sophie Jordan. PICTURE :Thajudheen
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi on stage at the opening night ceremony. (Supplied picture)
Qatari artist Rashid al-Kuwari. (Supplied picture)
Qatari filmmaker Khalifa al-Marri. (Supplied picture)
Ali bin Towar, TV presenter. (Supplied picture)
Ola al-Fares, Jordanian TV presenter. PICTURE: Thajudheen
On the occasion of the festival's opening, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Chairperson of the Doha Film Institute, addressed the youth: “Ajyal 2020 offers a unique opportunity for you to connect with peers around the world who share your passion for learning and discovery through cinema. Our culture’s rich history of literature, art, music and performance serves to preserve our past and informs our unique identity and perspective as Arabs and as modern-day storytellers. Now it’s your turn to shine, as creative role models for the generations of the future.”
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, festival director and chief executive officer of DFI, said: “In previous years, the size of our audiences were limited to the number of seats available; Ajyal 2020’s new hybrid format breaks these limitations and enables audiences from around the globe to join in cinematic celebration of culture and creative expression from wherever they are.
"I want to thank all our local and international participants for their support and trust in the unwavering spirit of Ajyal. This year’s festival theme, ‘The Show Goes On’, aptly reflects the essence of that spirit – one of vibrant creativity, community and resilience. We are very proud to embrace youth from all backgrounds and cultures as they explore individual freedom of thought, imagination and expression in the environment of intercultural understanding and respect of Ajyal.”
The eighth edition of Ajyal Film Festival continues until November 23.
Delivering important messages of humanity, the festival opened with 'Sun Children' (Iran/2020) by Iranian director Majid Majidi, which made its debut at the 77th Venice International Film Festival earlier this year.
The film highlights the resilience and creativity of youth, which when nurtured brings lasting social change and inspires great innovators and problem-solvers of tomorrow.
This year, the festival will showcase a diverse programme of 22 features and 58 shorts, including 31 from the Arab World and 30 by women directors. Bringing together award-winning filmmakers from across the globe, Ajyal Film Festival "continues to amplify powerful voices and rouse all generations through cinema", the statement notes.
Expanding audience access across the region via an online streaming platform and exciting new Drive-In Cinema in Lusail, Ajyal 2020 brings back the highly anticipated Made in Qatar programme presented by Ooredoo, to celebrate emerging film talents who call Qatar home, the statement adds.
For up-to-date information and ticket reservation, one can visit this link
The 2020 Ajyal Film Festival’s official partners include Katara - the Cultural Village Foundation – Cultural Partner; Qatar National Tourism Council – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas and Ooredoo – Strategic Partner; Msheireb Properties, Lusail, Qatari Diar – Signature Sponsors.