The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has launched the Ajyal Film Club, an initiative by the young jurors of Ajyal Film Festival, to put the spotlight on pressing global concerns and rally youth dialogue around them through the medium of film.
The Ajyal Film Festival, DFI’s annual signature event, is a unique initiative that inspires creative interaction and cultural exchange among youth. Over the past eight years, Ajyal has built a nurturing space where youth are empowered to reach beyond differences to find their creative voice.
Two sessions of the Ajyal Film Club have been held to date around the issues of environmental degradation and the crisis in Palestine. Upcoming sessions will be held on August 14, September 11, and October 9 on wide-ranging topics that influence youth and promote positive action.
Films that address the subjects will be screened for Ajyal Film Club members, who will not only discuss the movie but also the underlying theme in-depth. The Ajyal Film Club is part of the year-round youth development workshops organised by the Institute to promote film education and appreciation.
Youth interested in cinema and keen to learn about global concerns can take part in the Ajyal Film Club, which is free of charge. The committee for each session will be led by Ajyal Jurors.
Compelling films from popular streaming platforms are selected for the participants to watch and they virtually meet up to discuss everything from plot and cinematography to broader issues such as cinema history and filmmaking techniques. Those who are interested can book a place for the upcoming session via [email protected]
“The Ajyal Film Club underlines the organic evolution of our young Ajyal Jurors from being participants of the Ajyal Film Festival to taking a stronger and active role in discussing key subjects that affect humanity through cinema. The success of the Ajyal Jury programme inspired us to explore new avenues to create year-round engagement for our young film enthusiasts,” DFI CEO Fatma Hassan Alremaihi said in a press statement.
“So, when the youth showed initiative for a film club, we extended our support to create a vibrant platform for them to understand the world better through the medium of film. We are proud to watch our Ajyal Jurors take this unique initiative forward, to voice their valuable ideas and opinions, and assume active roles within their communities, and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world,” she added.
The Ajyal Jurors form the heart of Ajyal Film Festival and is a one-of-its-kind film jury with members aged 8 to 25, watching and critiquing films in addition to taking part in in-depth discussions and voting for the winners of the film festival.
The experience of being an Ajyal Juror is unparalleled: an inspiring and creative hands-on experience that instills not only an appreciation of film, but also the values of teamwork, critical thinking and leadership. Last year, the event welcomed over 400 jurors of 45 nationalities to be part of an invaluable learning and cultural experience to explore the transformative world of cinema through curated film screenings, workshops and discussions.
The first Ajyal Film Club session held in May was centred on ‘Our Earth’ and it discussed environmental concerns through three films: The Lorax, directed by Chris Renaud; Chasing Coral by Jeff Orlowski; and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind by Hayao Miyazaki, all streaming on Netflix. The second session, ‘Films for Palestine’, held in June discussed the films, The Present (Palestine, Qatar) by Farah Nabulsi, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film; My Neighbourhood by Julia Bacha and Rebekah Wingert; and 200 Meters (Palestine, Jordan, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar) directed by Ameen Nayfeh, which won the Bader Best Feature Film at Ajyal 2020.
Youth in the age-group of 8 to 25 can apply to be an Ajyal Juror for the upcoming ninth edition of Ajyal Film Festival to be held from November 9 to 17. There are three Ajyal Competition juries in three age groups. They are: Mohaq - Ajyal’s youngest jurors, aged 8 to 12; Hilal - jurors aged 13 to 17; and Bader - jurors aged 18 to 25.
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