Film buffs to experience first drive-in cinema experience at this year’s Ajyal Film Festival
The 8th edition of the festival that will be held from November 18 to 23 promises to have an exciting lineup of MENA and Qatar premieres this year. The festival will screen 80 films from 46 countries including 22 features and 50 shorts and 31 films by Arab filmmakers.
Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer of DFI said that the festival will be a hybrid event of online and in-person activities that will ensure the creative vibrancy of Qatar while taking active responsibility for the physical health and safety of all participants.
Doha Film Institute in a tweet quoted Alremaihi; “We take great pride in our Ajyal community and believe now more than ever in the importance of meaningful connections in these trying times and exceptional circumstances.”
The festival will open with Majid Majidi’s Sun Children, one of the most acclaimed Iranian films of the year and an official selection of the Venice Film Festival. The movie tackles child labor and is claimed to be a must-see for film lovers.
In what promises to be a first for Doha Film Institute, this year’s Ajyal Film Festival will bring the communal film going experience to audience in a unique drive-in cinema experience at Lusail, according to a recently held press conference.
The first Egyptian and second Arab film to win a Short Film Palme d’or at Cannes 2020 ‘I am afraid to forget your face’ will be screened at Ajyal Film Fest.
Late last month, speaking at a Zoom meeting with local media, Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer of DFI, stressed they have been working closely with concerned government entities to ensure a safe festival for the young jurors with several options and opportunities for jurors to enjoy experiencing this year’s jury programme
“We’re working with the Ministry of Education. We’re talking to students in schools and universities to let them know that we are really working hard to deliver a safe festival, taking into consideration all necessary precautions. We’re working very closely with the Ministry of Public Health and all government entities,” said Alremaihi.
This year’s festival jury programme will be in a hybrid format combining online and onsite offerings.
“Everything will be available online for anyone who registers as a juror; they can watch films, attend Q&A’s and Ajyal Talks. Jurors whose ages are 18 and above can come and watch all their films in Katara while those below 18 years old can watch one film at Katara one time,” she explained.
Safety precautions will be applied during the screenings including checking the Ehteraz app and body temperature and ensuring social distancing. The jurors will be watching the films with their peers in smaller groups, she stressed.
“I want to give the parents peace of mind. I want to assure them that when they register their kids, they have options. It can be online or if they want they can bring them to the festival to watch a film. We have every option available for everyone who cannot come but there are opportunities for people to come and enjoy the festival on the ground,” she said.
One of the online features of this year’s festival is the virtual juror’s hub, an online space where the jury members can meet their peers and their mentors and talk, she added.
This year’s film festival will run from November 18 to 23 and the Jury Competition programme will be from November 11 to 23.