Doha, Qatar; October 3, 2022: It was a celebration of youth, their positivity and passion for cinema driving one of the most youthful film events in the world – the Special Edition of the 10th Ajyal Film Festival, which opened online with a historic record of over 600 Ajyal Jurors on Saturday, October 1.
For the next eight days, youth aged 8 to 25, from over 50 nations will watch, discuss and critique a specially curated programme of important stories from around the world including shorts and feature films.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, and Festival Director, welcomed the young Ajyal Jurors, describing them as the “beating heart of the festival,” and the “real reason that makes this festival truly special.”
“Now in its 10th year, everyone believes in the mission of the Ajyal Film Festival, and everyone recognizes the great rewards that young people benefit from their participation. In the coming days, the young Jurors will discover new voices in cinema, while discovering their own creative voices, and learn firsthand how the power of storytelling can serve as the most profound tool for positive change.”
She added: “We have curated a diverse selection of stories that reflect the changing times we live in, the conflicts, strife, and natural disasters that people across the world face. These stories will build empathy and a greater understanding of humanity among youth, demonstrating that the human spirit rises above all. They will discover that the hopes, attitudes and aspirations they nurture, are not much different from other people anywhere in the world.”
Several young jurors shared their excitement and enthusiasm to take part in the festival, not only to watch path-breaking films but also to connect with others and build new friendships.
In three categories – Mohaq (jurors aged 8 to 12); Hilal (13 to 17 years) and Bader (18- to 25-year-olds), the jurors will watch films by accomplished masters as well as talented first timers. Among the highlights include three films supported by the Doha Film Institute.
Until Tomorrow (Iran, France, Qatar/2022), by master filmmaker Ali Asgari, presents a compelling portrait of the millennial generation and how they are re-examining the value system in Iran and many other countries. Kash Kash – Without Feathers We Can’t Live (Qatar, Lebanon, Germany/2022), directed by Lea Najjar, is set in Beirut, torn apart by a corrupt political elite, anti-government protests, and one of the biggest explosions of the 21st century. Rest in Piece (Qatar, Syria, Germany, UAE/2022) by Antoine Antabi is a beautifully crafted clay animation that shows us the courage and resilience of displaced peoples through the eyes of Midyan, who is forced to flee his war-torn home.