96 films from 39 countries to be screened at Ajyal festival
November 03 2019 11:20 PM
The officials at the press conference. PICTURE: Ram Chand
The officials at the press conference. PICTURE: Ram Chand

The Ajyal Film Festival 2019 organised by Doha Film Institute (DFI), will open with the Middle East premiere of Palestinian director, Elia Suleiman’s critically acclaimed movie, ‘It Must Be Heaven.’

The six-day festival will have 96 films from 39 countries that demonstrate the power of storytelling to transform minds and will inspire audiences and stimulate discussions about real and relevant issues that affect them.

It will be held from November 18-23 at Katara Cultural Village and will feature public screenings, Ajyal jury screenings, interactive discussions, red carpet events, and community-oriented activities that will delight all ages.

It will also include the world premieres of completed projects from the Qatari Film Fund recipients, Ahmad al-Sharif’s 'End of the Road' and Kholood al-Ali’s 'Fragile', shining the spotlight on Qatari talents and presenting the local stories to the world.

The details of the festival were announced at a press conference on Sunday by Fatma Hassan Alremaihi, CEO of Doha Film Institute and Ajyal Festival director at Nova Cinemas, Pearl Qatar. Rawda al-Thani, film programmer; Aya al-Balouchi, Ajyal jury manager and Abdulla al-Mosallam, chief administrative officer, DFI and deputy director of Ajyal Film Festival were also present at the press conference.

"This year, the festival is being held under the theme, ‘Find Film, Find Life. The focus is to engage the audience and make them realise how the transformative power of films helps in finding new perspectives and new ways to understand life,” said Alremaihi.

“This year we have expanded the scope of the festival as the movies will be screened at different centres around the city. There will be screening at Katara, Doha Festival City, Nova Cinemas among other places. The films include 23 feature films and 73 short films with 56 women directors and 50 films from the Arab countries,” explained Alremaihi.

Tickets for the 7th Ajyal Film Festival are already available for purchase at the Ajyal Main Box Office located in Katara Building 10, at the Ajyal Box Office at Vox Cinemas Doha Festival City for screenings taking place at Vox Cinemas and from the Novo Cinemas Box Office for screenings at the Novo Cinemas Pearl.

There will be five inspiring DFI-supported short films from Qatar’s promising filmmaking talent at the festival. Presented in collaboration with the Translation and Interpreting Institute of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, the trans-adapted presentation marks the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

A selection of contemporary short films from up-and-coming directors from India is part of the Made in India special presentation to celebrate the ‘Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture’.

The festival also will host some key personalities in films, arts and humanity from Qatar and abroad. They include master filmmakers Elia Suleiman and Kiyoshi Kurosawa, upcoming Arab filmmakers Amjad Abu Alala and Oualid Mouness, visual artist Bouthayna al-Muftah, filmmaker Jason Silva in partnership with WISE-Qatar Foundation and Gitanjali Rao, actor and producer Chace Crawford in partnership with beIN and Sundance TV and actor Kris Hitchen among others.

The 2019 Made in Qatar programme presented by Ooredoo comprises 22 inspiring films, including the world premieres of the completed projects from the Qatari Film Fund recipients. Ajyal 2019 will also screen 19 films supported by the DFI Grants programme, co-financing, Qatari Film Fund or projects mentored through its labs and workshops.

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