First-ever hybrid edition of 8th Ajyal Film Festival is taking place from November 18-23
The first-ever hybrid edition of the 8th Ajyal Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), will feature an inspiring selection of 80 films from 46 countries representing timeless tales of community and determination, highlighting the innocence of youth and an enduring optimism through cinema.
The six-day event, held from November 18- 23 in an adapted format, celebrates the essence of Ajyal and its commitment to community and youth development, with most activities, offered online. Pushing the limits of creativity and paving new paths, Ajyal 2020 will feature an innovative mix of virtual and in-person film screenings, interactive discussions, and the first-ever drive-in cinema in Lusail as part of a multisensory experience for all ages.
In line with government guidelines and with the health of all Ajyal participants as the top priority, DFI continues to work closely with Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and the Crisis Committee to deliver a safe Festival experience with a balance of virtual and in-person elements.
This year’s Ajyal Film Festival will open with Sun Children by Iranian director Majid Majidi, which made its debut at the 77th Venice International Film Festival earlier this year. It spotlights the resilience and creativity of the youth, which when nurtured brings about lasting social change and creates the great innovators and problem-solvers of tomorrow.
Tickets for the 8th Ajyal Film Festival are available for online purchase from today, 4 November. For up-to-date information and ticket purchase please visit www.dohafilminstitute.com/festival.
Ajyal 2020 will provide the jury the opportunity to interact with international arts and culture visionary, H.E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who will inspire jurors with her approach to establishing Qatar as a leading global cultural destination and the impact of art and culture in national development.
Ajyal Spotlight sessions will feature Claudio Gubitosi, Director and Founder of the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy; Indian actor and humanitarian, Kunal Kapoor, Goran Bodgan, Bosnian actor known from the TV series Fargo; and American actor and comedian, Zach Woods.
2020 Programming highlights
Bringing together award-winning filmmakers from across the globe, Ajyal Film Festival continues to shine a light on inspiring voices with the inherent power to inspire change and shape generations through cinema. The diverse programme consists of 22 features and 58 shorts, including 31 from the Arab World and 30 by women filmmakers.
Ajyal 2020 has also expanded audience access safely cross the region by enabling everyone to share the Festival experience from the comfort of their homes via an online streaming platform, and an exciting new drive-in element in Lusail in partnership with Qatar National Tourism Council.
DFI supported films
The Institute is proud to have supported 24 films at the Festival through its programmes including Grants, co-financing, Qatari Film Fund and mentorship through labs and workshops. These include: 200 Meters, An Unusual Summer, Gevar’s Land, Their Algeria, The Present, and I am Afraid to Forget Your Face, among others.
In the sixth year of one of the most unique cinematic presentations in the world, Ajyal’s trans-adapted screenings return with 4 inspiring DFI-supported short films from Qatar’s promising filmmaking talent.
Made in Qatar
2020 Made in Qatar programme presented by Ooredoo inspiring films from emerging Qatari nationals and those who call Qatar home.
An impressive slate of 16 films brings together exciting voices from the next generation of Qatari creatives whose powerful stories will resonate with audiences across the world.
Lusail’s first-ever drive-in cinema in partnership with the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) will offer a wonderful concept bringing the communal film-going experience to audiences to enjoy at safe social distances, with screenings of family-friendly classics such as Bambi, Chicken Run, Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe among others.
An annual highlight of the Festival, the Ajyal 2020 Kids Red Carpet will celebrate the 70th year of Disney’s most beloved animated classic Cinderella.
Ajyal Creativity Hub
The Ajyal Creativity Hub returns as a multisensory extravaganza combining film, art and music in a one-stop cultural destination to transport audiences to new places and inspire and unite the community.
The vibrant programme of cultural and creative activities available online to participants and audiences will feature Geekdom, Qatar’s largest and one-of-its-kind pop-culture event; Ajyal Talks, gathering leaders from film, art, television and technology for inspiring and insightful discussions; and Ajyal Tunes, celebrating the country’s musical talents through a mix of online initiatives and drive-in concerts.
Ajyal 2020 is proud to host world-renowned Qatari composer, Dana Al Fardan, and Libyan international humanitarian hero, Alaa Murabit, as part of the Ajyal Talks showcase.
Building on the success of our past three exhibitions, this year’s Ajyal exhibition ‘Outbreak’ at Sikkat Wadi in Msheireb will feature works of art that reflect the new reality of our world as it faces a period of instability and uncertainty.
The selected works of immensely talented local artists to pay tribute to the brave frontline workers and modern-day heroes sacrificing their lives for our safety.
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