The Ajyal Film Festival competition this year will showcase 33 shorts from over 18 countries, including eight ‘Made in Qatar’, which present fascinating new expressions in cinema, cutting across genres, narrative styles and themes.
From the first hand-drawn animated film to be produced by DreamWorks Animation since over 15 years to searing tales from the region as well as inspiring ones on hope, resilience and courage, the short films will be evaluated by the young Ajyal Jurors in each of the three categories.
The competition, which honours the Best Film in each category, is central to the annual cinema event hosted by the Doha Film Institute (DFI) to be held this year from November 28 to December 3 at Katara – the Cultural Village.
“The diversity of the short films in our competition section highlights the bold new faces of emerging cinema, with talented young people pushing the boundaries of storytelling techniques. The films selected reflect the themes of the festival that celebrates the values of courage, hope and resilience,” DFI CEO and festival director Fatma Hassan al-Remaihi said. “In each of the short films, a genre that requires a strong command over the medium, the filmmakers present insights that will surely inspire audiences to reflect on their own lives, communities and the world in ways they may not have done before,” she noted. “We are confident that the short films, including a proud showcase of national films made by Qatari talents, will resonate with our audiences and jurors alike.” Jurors aged 8 to 12 will watch and discuss films under the Mohaq category which has 12 short films this year, while Hilal Jurors aged 13 to 17 will watch 10 short films. The Bader Jurors, aged 18 to 21, will evaluate 11 shorts. The directors of the Best Film will receive funding support for their next film.
The short films in the Mohaq category are Antouni by Alik Tamar, Bachir in Wonderland by Evelien Vehof and Els Duran, Gubgub by Nouf al-Sulaiti, Gummy Gas Crisis by Rodrigo Diaz, Nasser Goes to Space by Mohamed al-Mahmeed, Odd is an Egg by Kristin Ulseth, Post No Bills by Robin Hays, Sh’hab by Amal al-Muftah, Siblings by James Michael Chiang, The Elephant’s Song by Lynn Tomlinson, Two Balloons by Mark C Smith, and Two Trams by Svetlana Andrianova.
The short films in the Hilal category are: As My Father Was by Muslim Habeeb, Bird Karma by William Salazar, Changyou’s Journey by Perry Chen, Drop by Drop by Alexandra Ramires (Xá) and Laura Goncalves, Killing Hope (France/2017) by Julia Retali and Natacha Grangeon, Last Stop is the Moon by Birute Sodeikaite, Millennials by Aisha al-Shammakh, One in 50 Million by Luciana Ceccatto Farah, and Radiance by Chialing Yang, Sirocco by Romain Garcia.
The short films in the Bader category are: Amphitheater by Mahdi Ali Ali, Brotherhood by Meryam Joobeur, Carlotta’s Face by Valentin Riedl and Frederic Schuldi about Carlotta, Commodity City by Jessica Kingdon, I Don’t Believe In You But Then There is Gravity by Umut Subas?, Inanimate by Lucia Bulgheroni, Negative Space by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, The Bleaching Syndrome by Eiman Mirghani, The Craft by Monira Al Qadiri, The Reason, July 2017 by Hadeer Omar, and Transformation by Yousef al-Baqshi.
The festival’s 2018 official partners include Katara (cultural partner), Ooredoo (principal partner), Novo Cinemas (strategic partner) and St Regis Doha (signature sponsor).
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