Posted on October 12, 2014

Eighty school students from the Al-Jazeera Academy between the ages of 11 and 15 attended a special screening last week of the Danish documentary ‘The Kid and the Clown’, presented by Katara Doha Film Institute Cinema.

Presented as part of the Institute’s Ajyal Youth Film Series, the award-winning film about a six-year-old boy battling cancer was followed by a moving and informative panel with Ida Grøn, the director of the film; Hadi Deabis, a Clown Doctor from the Smile Foundation in Lebanon ‘Ibtissama’; Fiano Bonas, Director of the National Cancer Program for the Supreme Council of Health; and Caroline Anne Langford, Advanced Clinical Nurse Pediatric Oncology / Hematology, Hamad Medical Corporation. A deeply personal and emotionally powerful documentary, ‘The Kid and the Clown’ narrates the story of six-year-old Tobias and his interactions with Angus, who works as a clown doctor in the children’s oncology department of the hospital.

Eighty school students attend 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgDuring the Q&A session, Clown Doctor Hadi Deabis said: “I felt that this film was very true to life and I can identify with Dr Angus who sometimes feels hopeless in the face of the enormous challenges these patients are dealing with. I have been a clown doctor for six years now. We share beautiful moments with the patients and try to always give them positive energy by filling their environment and surroundings with joy. We share magical moments with our patients, when they haven’t been able to eat or smile for days, and we suddenly bring life to them again.” 

One of the students commented: “This film helped me realize to not take things for granted and to be thankful for the healthy life and body that God has given us, and appreciate it more.” Another student said: “This film made me realise the importance of humor and entertainment in our daily lives and as a cure to these patients. I would love, one day, to do something to be part of helping them in any way I can.” Fatma Al-Remaihi, Acting CEO of Doha Film Institue and Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival said: “We were very pleased to host the Al-Jazeera Academy students last week along with our guest panellists for ‘The Kid and the Clown’.

Eighty school students attend 3 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgCinema has a unique ability to provide young people with a window into the experience of others. Through the Institute’s youth programmes, we are committed to connecting young people with films such as this that can help them to understand different aspects of the world around them and to open up a space for them to discuss their ideas and reactions openly.” The panellist’s visit to Doha also included a visit to Hamad General Hospital where Hadi Deabis spent time with the paediatric oncology patients. October is Cancer Awareness Month for liver cancer and breast cancer.

People interested in learning more about the Smile Foundation can visit http://www.ibtissama.org/homepage for more information. Doha Film Institute’s programming for young people takes place year-round, culminating in the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, which will take place from December 1 – 6, 2014. Katara Doha Film Institute Cinema presents monthly screenings of quality films from around the world, and is part of the creative collaboration between Doha Film Institute and Katara Cultural Village to further strengthen appreciation of cinema in Doha.

Doha Film Institute Twitter: @DohaFilm; Instagram: @DohaFilm; Facebook: www.facebook.com/DohaFilmInstitute

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