Posted on December 01, 2015

The first screenings in the ‘Made in Qatar’ programme of the third Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, will be held today (Wednesday, December 2, 2015) at 7 PM at Katara Drama Theatre (K16-DT). While 17 films are part of the home-grown series of films highlighting the talent of Qatari filmmakers and those who call Qatar home, the first screenings include eight of the short films, with the second screenings to be held on Friday, Dec. 4 at 7 PM, followed by the awards ceremony.

Presented with the support of Tarsheed, the ‘Made in Qatar’ films will be evaluated by a jury comprising Saudi Arabian actress and filmmaker Ahd; multi-award winning television host Marcel Ghanem; and award-winning film producer Bassam Al-Ibrahim. The showcase of shot films on Wednesday includes Heart of the House  (English, 2015) written and directed by Gabrielle Sol that takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Oryx Rotana, revealing diverse stories and dreams of people from 37 countries who are building new lives for themselves in Qatar.

Her Majlis (Arabic/English, 2015) directed by Sama Abduljawad, Najla Al Khulaifi, Dana Al Mesnad and Nayla Al Thani, takes viewers to the heart of the women’s Majlis, an important element of many Qatari households, to explore the history of these gathering places. Written and directed by Sana Al-Ansari, If They Only Knew (Arabic, 2014) depicts how the follies of youth can haunt us even as time passes through the story of Ahmed, an insomniac. Light Sounds (English, Sinhalese; 2015), written and directed by Karem Kamel is about two Sri Lankans who work as cleaners at a mosque in Qatar, reminding us that every face might hide an unrecognised talent.

The Notebook (Arabic, 2015), written and directed by Amna Al-Binali, is a diarist film that explores the limits of personal boundaries and the complicated dynamics of inner lives through the life of Nora who is trying to make a film for the first time. The Palm Tree (No dialogue, 2015), directed by Jassim Al-Rumaihi is an observational documentary that shows how unnatural nature can be and unearths the science fiction in reality.

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Directed by Amina Ahmed Al Bloshi, To My Mother (Arabic, Hindi; 2015) is a tribute to her mother who is now accomplishing her dream of getting an education just when her youngest child began his studies. The final film in the showcase on Wednesday is Yellow Nights (Arabic, 2015), written and directed by Abdullah Al Mulla about a chance encounter that has the power to alter not just the course of a young man’s life but also an elderly man who finds himself at similar crossroads in life.

Also on Wednesday at 3.30 PM at Katara Drama Theatre, the Doha Giffoni Youth Media Summit will host a discussion on ‘Children in Conflict Areas,’ that centres on how film and media content creation can assist children to share their stories. The speakers include: Matthew Cassel, an US-based photojournalist; Charlotte Giese, Specialist Advisor for Children & Youth at Danish Film Institute in Denmark; Firas Kayal, Senior External Relations Officer, Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa at UNHCR; Essa Al Mannai, Executive Director, Reach Out to Asia; and Farooq Burney, Director of Al Fakhoora Education Above All. The session will be moderated by Firdoze Bulbulia, an award-winning producer, director and trainer.

Ajyal Youth Film Festival will also mark the screening of Taxi Tehran (Iran, 2015), directed by Jafar Panahi, one of the world’s most influential filmmakers, at 10 PM at Katara Drama Theatre. In this film, Panahi places himself in the driver’s seat of a cab and takes passengers to their destination, as they speak of their troubles and expectations.

Written and directed by Naomi Kawase, An (Japan, France, Germany; 2015) will screen at 8 PM at Katara Opera House. It is a delicate story of two wounded souls who come together and inspire one another to let go of the past. Walls (Spain; 2015), directed by Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina, will screen at 8.30 PM at Katara 12 Theatre A. It follows subjects on both sides of three contemporary borders to explore what these walls stand for today.

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Also watch Celestial Camel (Russia, 2014), directed by Yury Feting, shot on location in the south-western region of Russia using the local Kalmyk people as actors, charting the heart-warming adventures of a young sheepherder. The film will screen at 9.15 PM at Katara 12 Theatre B. In free public screenings under the SONY Cinema Under the Stars programme, watch the genius of Charlie Chaplin with Modern Times (USA, 1936) at 8 PM at Katara. With his bowler hat, cane and little moustache, Chaplin’s Little Tramp plunges a factory into hilarious chaos after the mind-numbing assembly line job drives him to a nervous breakdown.

Festival-goers can purchase tickets for all screenings other than ‘SONY Cinema Under the Stars’ from the Ajyal FNAC Ticket Outlet located in Lagoona Mall in addition to the Ajyal Katara Main Box Office located in Katara Building 12. The Ajyal Katara Main Box Office will be open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM until December 5th. The Ajyal FNAC Ticket Outlet will be open until December 5th from 2:00 PM till 9:00 PM. Tickets can also be purchased securely online through the Festival’s website at ajyalfilm.com.

Tickets are priced at QR 25 for regular screenings, and QR 40 for premium screenings (including the opening and closing night films). QM Culture Pass members get a discount of QR 5 on all regularly priced Festival screenings and events when they present their QM Culture Pass at any Festival ticket outlet. Pass holders can purchase up to two discounted tickets per screening.

For more information on the movie timings and the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, log onto www.dohafilminstitute.com.

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