Qatari film festival pulls in younger generations

Some 96 films from 3 countries will be shown at the seventh Ajyal Film Festival on November 18-24.

    The festival is based around the theme 'Find Film, Find Life' [Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images]
    The festival is based around the theme 'Find Film, Find Life' [Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images]

    The seventh Ajyal Film Festival presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) has kicked off in the Qatari capital, Doha, with a traditional red carpet walk.

    With the theme "Find Film, Find Life", some 96 films from 39 countries will be shown at the international festival on November 18-24.

    Cinema buffs flocked to the festival, which aims to encourage a love of film in younger generations.

    This year's festival was inaugurated with Palestinian auteur Elia Suleiman's film, It Must Be Heaven. It tells the tale of Suleiman's experience leaving Palestine to find an alternative homeland.

    The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors; however far he travels, from Paris to New York, something always reminds him of home.

    On the red carpet, Suleiman said his film was about global violence, globalisation and what he described as the Palestinisation of the world.

    US actor Chace Crawford took part in the grand opening of the festival, telling reporters he found the Ajyal festival "amazing".

    "It's my first time in Qatar. It's amazing to get the young generations into film making, to get to see the cinema, to see short films, independent films. It's nice to keep the independent spirit alive. I've never seen such a festival with children juries and I think Ajyal Festival is amazing," said Crawford.

    Ajyal film festival
    US actor Chace Crawford was among the stars in attendance at the inaugural screening [Tim P Whitby/Getty Images]

    During the festival, 23 features and 73 shorts will compete. Three Ajyal juries will award the best film prize to their favourite short and feature-length films, for a total of six awards.

    There are three juries, divided according to age.

    The first is Mohaq, meaning "New Moon" in Arabic and aged 8-12; the second is Hilal - "Crescent Moon", aged 13-17 and the third Bader - "Full Moon", aged 18-21.

    There are over 450 jurors from 45 different nationalities including, Bosnia, Turkey, Italy, and the United Kingdom. 

    Fifty film entries are from the Arab world and 56 of the competing filmmakers are women.

    The directors of the winning films will be awarded funding for their next film, empowering jurors to support and promote future content that is relevant and important to them.

    Interactive discussions, red carpet events, and community-oriented activities that inspire creative interaction and stimulate cinematic dialogue and discussions will also feature at the event.

    Made in Qatar

    Marking the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, there will be a Made in India section at the festival, comprising a selection of short films curated by the Mumbai Academy of Moving Images.

    The event focuses on films made in Qatar from short films for children as young as four years old to brilliant examples of animation, drama, and comedy as well as heavy-hitting documentaries for the serious cinephile.

    The 2019 Made in Qatar programme will shine the spotlight on Qatari talents with 22 films, including the world premieres of projects from Qatari Film Fund recipients.

    Moreover, the Ajyal Creativity Hub will include Qatar's largest and one-of-a-kind pop-culture event, Geekdom, while Ajyal Talks will gather leaders from film, art, television and technology for inspiring and insightful discussions. The new Ajyal Tunes will shine the spotlight on the country's underground music scene and the ARC Exhibition will celebrate the art of storytelling.

    Ajyal, which is Arabic for "generations", brings people of all ages together through screenings of films from around the world in Doha's Katara Cultural Village.

    SOURCE: Anadolu news agency