Ajyal festival’s ‘Find Life, Find Film’ captivates movie buffs | HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani at the 2019 Ajyal Film Festival jury opening night
George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor
Doha Film Festival (DFI) opened the 7th edition of Ajyal Film Festival at Katara – the Cultural Village on Monday.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, chairperson of DFI; HE Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, member of the DFI Board of Trustees and Issa bin Mohamed al-Mohannadi, vice-chairman – DFI Board of Directors were present on the opening night.
Qatari filmmakers and talents on the red carpet included Salah al-Mulla, Khalifa al-Marri, A J al-Thani, Hamida Issa, Abdulaziz Yousif and Nouf al-Sulaiti, among others.
Celebrities from local, regional and international cinema and distinguished guests, senior officials and dignitaries from Qatar and the wider Arab world graced the red carpet on the first night of the festival.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa commented, “The immense success of the Institute and its impact on our thriving local film industry is the result of the dedication and hard work of our people, our partners and long-term supporters. We share a dream in Qatar National Vision 2030 to provide an international platform that is rooted in our history and culture while staying connected to modern life.
This year’s films tell stories across multiple mediums, allowing audiences to experience powerful content. From here, we invite production companies to mentor our youth and contribute to the creation of compelling Arabic content that is of world-class standard.”
Captioned under the theme “Find Film, Find Life”, some 96 films from 39 countries will be shown at the international festival until November 24.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, festival director and CEO of DFI, noted: “Our 2019 festival theme, ‘Find Film, Find Life’, pays homage to the power of storytelling in illuminating our daily reality and evoking change.”
The Middle East premiere of ‘It Must Be Heaven’ by award-winning Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman marked the opening night of the festival.
The current Ajyal 2019 jury competition line-up consists of 15 feature films and a series of short programmes to be reviewed by more than 400 jurors from 45 nationalities. The international jurors are from Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Iraq, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mozambique, Oman, Palestine, Turkey, Tunisia and the UK
During the festival, 23 features and 73 shorts will compete in 3 Ajyal Juries awards, the best film prize to their favorite short and feature-length films, for a total of 6 awards.
The jury is composed of three age groups. The first is Mohaq, meaning “New Moon” in Arabic and aged 8-12; the second is “Hilal” — “Crescent Moon”, aged 13-17 and the third “Bader” — “Full Moon”, aged 18-21.
For ticket purchase and up-to-date information on the festival, one can visit https://www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival/ticketinformation
The 2019 Ajyal Film Festival’s official partners include Katara – Cultural Partner; Qatar National Tourism Council – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas, Ooredoo – Strategic Partner, and The St Regis Doha – Signature Partner