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Ajyal Youth Film Festival Engages Students with Special ‘School Screenings’

Nov 24, 2013

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Film: The Painting Pool

Doha, Qatar; November 24, 2013: Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, will host a series of ‘School Screenings’ during its inaugural edition scheduled from November 26 to 30, 2013.

Featuring a showcase of selected films, followed by Q&A sessions with visiting directors, producers, and actors, the ‘School Screenings’ will allow students from grade 3 onwards to gain an insight into these films and discuss the themes explored. Serving as an environment where audiences of all ages come together to discuss cinema and develop a genuine appreciation for the artform, the series of morning screenings will take place throughout the five-day Festival at The Cultural Village in Katara.

Supported by the Supreme Council of Education in Qatar, the Government body aimed at improving the quality of education of schools, Ajyal’s ‘School Screenings’ will feature specially curated films from France, Greece, Hong Kong, Iran, Jordan, Mexico, Palestine, Spain, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and UAE.

Festival Director, Fatma Al Remaihi, said, “The founding motive of Ajyal is to instill the love of cinema amongst the youth, and to use the medium of film to expand their imagination and encourage self-expression and conversations. With a rich and diverse selection of films , the Festival has been specially curated to appeal to audiences of all ages – especially the younger members of our community. The dedicated ‘school screenings’ will provide students with an opportunity to discuss ideas, share opinions and better understand the world around them.”

On November 27, students will have the opportunity to watch an array of films headlined by Hoze Naghashi’s ‘The Painting Pool’ (2013, Iran), which is the story of Maryam and Reza, and the relationship they share. For them, even the simplest of tasks – like crossing the street or cooking a pizza – are difficult, but they will not allow their mental challenges to stand in the way of their love for their child.

‘Mike Says Goodbye’ (2012, The Netherlands) by Maria Peters is the story of Mike, who is on the brink of being sent to a foster home when his mother does not turn up to have him discharged. Mike and his friend Vincent must now foil a devious strategy to get him home for Christmas to be with his mother. ‘Regret’ (2013, The Netherlands) by Dave Schram, puts the spotlight on bullying, with Jochem, an easy target for his class bullies. When their class mentor organises a party and Jochem does not show up, the next day their principal informs them that Jochem never made it home the night before.

Rong-ji Chang’s ‘Touch of the Light’ (2012, Hong Kong/Taiwan) is based on the real-life story of Taiwanese piano prodigy Huang Yu-Siang. When Siang leaves his rural home and family to attend university in the city, he meets Jie, a beautiful yet unhappy girl who dreams of becoming a dancer, and they inspire each other to pursue their dreams against all odds.

The showcase on November 28 includes: ‘Zip & Zap and the Marble Gang’ (2013, Spain), an action-packed film, which promises mystery, friendship, and hilarious antics and Pascal Plisson’s ‘On the Way to School’ (2013, France/Mexico) screened in collaboration with the Education Above All foundation (EAA) in support of its Educate A Child programme. The inspiring film narrates the struggles and obstacle four students go through everyday on their journey to the classroom.

‘Kauwboy’ (2012, The Netherlands) by Boudewijn Koole, tells the tale of Jojo, a 10-year old boy who befriends an abandoned baby jackdaw, which becomes the trigger for reconnecting with his emotionally detached father; while ‘When I Saw You’ (2012, Palestine/Jordan/UAE/Greece) by Annemarie Jacir, depicts the story of Tarek and his mother, both of whom are stranded in a refugee camp, while his father remains in Palestine. Homesick and lacking patience, he decides to set off on a journey back home.

Participating schools include Abdulla Bin Turki, Mesaeed International School, Doha College, Al Hadaya School for Girls, Al Ahnef Bin Qais School for Boys, Al Soud School for Girls, Lycee Bonaparte, Al Khadeeja School for Girls, Al Manar Primary Girls School, Khalid Bin Ahmed, Awfaz Global School and Best Buddies Qatar amongst others.

Tickets for the ‘School Screenings’ are available at the Box Office of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, in The Cultural Village Katara and City Centre. For more details on the programme, please visit: https://www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival.

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival builds on the Doha Film Institute’s history of community-based programming. Ajyal invites generations to come together to discuss cinema through events that inspire creative interaction, opening up a fun, collaborative environment where young people can express themselves.