The Middle East, particularly Qatar, has a lot of undiscovered talents who are passionate about filmmaking, prominent American actor and producer Chace Crawford has said.
“I saw some of the trailers (of the short films) and saw some of the pieces put together. I think the films work just right after their equal with that,” he told reporters at a press briefing yesterday at St Regis Doha, drawing a parallel between short films in Hollywood and Qatar.
Crawford attended the red carpet on the 7th Ajyal Film Festival’s opening night on Monday. The actor is renowned for his work on world-famous television series The Boys and Gossip Girl, and also starred in several films such as The Covenant, Twelve, and Molley Hartley. He also took part in a meet-and-greet with more than 400 Ajyal jurors aged between 8 and 21 from more than 48 countries across the world.
“It is like incredible, I’ve been to some of the facilities today, people are really passionate about filmmaking here and I think it’s going to get better and better,” Crawford said.
He also lauded Ajyal’s uniqueness and its organisation, highlighting the importance of involving the young generation to filmmaking and cinema.
“It’s cool to see them (young jurors) excited about the festival, excited about cinema,” the actor said.
“I think it is an important thing, and also to see this festival was a little bit different, which is really important to the young generation and getting them involved in the jury process, which makes them, forces them to really pay attention to films and learn how to think about making critically informed opinions which I think is really cool,” Crawford explained.
About possible collaboration with the Doha Film Institute (DFI), he said he is open to such collaboration and projects in the future.
“Absolutely, given the right opportunity I would love to, and in sort of bridging those worlds and coming to work with people here will be very special and fun. I am definitely open to that,” the actor stressed.
About Ajyal’s theme ‘Find Film, Find Life’, he underlined the role of films and cinema in educating and encouraging the youth to “more serious stuff”. “We’re talking today about how important it is to have films, educate and force conversations just always been a sort of passive entertainment, and couple that with getting kids involved and sort of introducing them probably to films and materials that they are not used to seeing,” Crawford said
“Some more serious stuff, some more probably artistic type filmmaking, some dialogue, and I think that is really cool, it is abstract, it is storytelling or conversations, they are talking about real topics, I think that is important, follows the model of the (Ajyal) film festival,” he added.
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