Posted on November 28, 2018

With a colourful array of activities for family and a compelling showcase of films drawn from real life including another screening of the opening film, Freedom Fields, the sixth edition of the Ajyal Film Festival will delight the community today (Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018).

The annual cinema event hosted by the Doha Film Institute at Katara Cultural Village will also be underlined by the first programme of ‘Made in Qatar’ presented by Ooredoo on Thursday, which highlights the works by Qatari and Qatar-based filmmakers. The first programme’s screenings of eight short films by the homegrown talents will be at 7 PM at Katara Drama Theatre. Celebrating the thriving state of filmmaking in Qatar, the annual programme puts the spotlight not only talents from the country but also presents compelling stories of Qatar, its culture and people from interesting perspectives.

With the weekend setting in, there is enough reason for families to visit the Ajyal Stage at Katara Village. At the Katara Esplanade, family fun kicks off at 6:30 PM with the My Family Tree Cine-Concert by Forum des Images. It showcases not only five short films that reveal what brings families together but also live music by a group of international musicians. Entry is free but seating is limited. The Ajyal Creativity Hub will kick off on Thursday morning with Geekdom, Qatar’s one-of-a-kind pop-culture event featuring exciting activities including cosplay days, videogame tournaments and film screenings. Geekdom opens at Katara Buildings 18 and 19 at 10 AM and will continue through to 10 PM. Entrance is free for the public.

Do not miss [RE]ACTION, a compelling art showcase by the local art community, which is held at Katara Building 19 from 10 AM to 10 PM, celebrates Qatar’s resilience and ability to overcome even the most testing of challenges. The works on display highlight how Qatar continues to strengthen and grow even in times of adversity. After wowing audiences at the opening night gala, Freedom Fields (Libya, UK, Netherlands, USA, Qatar, Lebanon, Canada/2018) will be screened at 8:30 PM at Novo Cinemas, The Pearl. Nominated for the Best Documentary Award at the Stockholm Film Festival 2018, the film directed by Naziha Arebi follows three brave women and their efforts to build a football team in post-revolution Libya, even as the country descends into civil war.

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Several films await cine-lovers at Ajyal Film Festival on Thursday celebrating the themes of hope, discovery and courage. At 8:30 PM at Katara 12 – Theatre A, watch On Happiness Road (Taiwan/2017), directed by Hsin-Yin Sung, which was nominated as Best Feature at Annecy International Film Festival 2018. The film is about Chi, who returns home for the funeral of her grandmother. Back with her family, she begins to reminisce about the life she left behind to pursue her dream abroad. Acclaimed director Jafar Panahi’s 3 Faces (Iran/2018), which won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes Film Festival 2018, will be screened at 9:15 PM at Katara 12- Theatre B. The film traverses the journey that Panahi makes with actress Behnaz Jafari to help a young girl, whose desperate plea to assist her family had left Jafari distraught. They travel to the rural northwest where they encounter the endearing folk of the girl’s mountain village.

The winner of the Critics Award at Hamburg Film Festival 2018, director Guillaume Senez’s Our Struggles (Belgium, France/2018) is at 6 PM at Katara Opera House. It is about Oliver, who finds a new meaning in his life with the help of his kids, after his wife leaves them without warning. A powerful and endearing documentary, which won the Special Jury Prize at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2018, What Walaa Wants (Canada, Denmark/2018) will be screened at 9:30 PM at Katara Opera House. Directed by Christy Garland, the documentary is about Walaa, who was raised in a refugee camp in the West Bank, and aspires to become one of the few women in the Palestinian Security Force, not easy for a girl who has her own way of doing things.

At Novo Cinemas, The Pearl, at 5:30 PM, a delightful movie awaits families. Next Door Spy (Denmark/2017), directed by Karla von Bengtson, is about AC, who dreams about being a detective. When she moves next door to the mysterious skater Vincent, she immediately gets the sense that there is something more to him. A visually stunning story, the film reminds that it is foolish to jump to conclusions. Tickets to the screenings are priced QR25 and are available at FNAC stores (Lagoona Mall and Doha Festival City) and the Ajyal Katara Main Box office, Building 12. Tickets can be purchased online Holders of Culture Pass by Qatar Museums will get a QR5 discount on all general screenings.

2018 Ajyal Film Festival’s Official Partners include: Katara Cultural Village – Cultural Partner; Ooredoo – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas – Strategic Partner and St. Regis Doha – Signature Sponsor.