Posted on November 30, 2014

The second Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, is leading a range of community outreach initiatives designed to inspire the community to explore their creative potential and get involved in the spirit of Ajyal.

From poetry and photography competitions to fun, film-themed events, the community outreach activities of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival are in full swing in the lead up to the Festival’s second edition which takes place this week at Katara Cultural Village from December 1 – 6, 2014.

A key initiative is a poetry competition organised in partnership with the Cultural Creativity Centre. The competition is inspired by Ajyal’s upcoming Middle East premiere of ‘Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet’, the animated adaptation of Gibran’s beloved book. The film is produced by Salma Hayek, directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King) and features individual chapters based on eight of Gibran’s poems directed by award-winning animators around the world, including Gulf talent Mohammed Saeed Harib.

The Cultural Creativity Center and Ajyal invited participants to choose a chapter from the book and use its theme or content to write a poem on the same topic in their own words. A panel of experts from the Cultural Creativity Centre and Doha Film Institute have evaluated the entries and selected four finalists: Tahani Ali Al Buraiki, Maryam Ali Al Mudahka, Abdulla Taleb Al Afifa and Noora Saeed Al Marri. The winner will be announced at the Festival’s closing night gala with prizes sponsored by SONY and Fifty One East.

The annual pre-festival Artist Night was held last Wednesday evening and was attended by leading artists, actors and filmmakers from the community along with representatives from the Doha Film Institute. The event was a lively celebration of local talent followed by further cause for celebration when Qatar won the Gulf Cup which the guests were enjoying the during the event.

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In her speech addressing the guests, Acting Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, Fatma Al Remaihi said: “Art and culture play a crucial role in sharing our values and stories with the rest of the world. The people gathered here in this room tonight are the cultural influencers who are shaping Qatar. We believe the Ajyal Youth Film Festival is an important initiative because it addresses a clear commitment to the creative development of our younger generation. By providing a space where they can be inspired and expand their imaginations, we are investing in their future, and the future of our creative industries.”

The Festival will also present a photography exhibition to celebrate the power of storytelling through a single image, to be held from Dec. 2 to 6 at Katara, Building 19. The exhibition will present a collection of antique cameras and works by 10 Doha-based photographers who will present varied aspects of the artform – from street photography to fashion shoots and everything in between. This exhibition is free of charge and open to all. Photography enthusiasts in the community can get involved by taking 5 to 8 specific photos on themes provided and upload them to Instagram with the hashtag #Ajyal14. The photos will be printed and added to Ajyal’s photo wall that will take shape throughout the Festival.

The full programme of the second Ajyal Youth Film Festival consists of daily public screenings of local and international films; family weekend; special events and exhibitions; the Sandbox interactive digital playground; school screenings; and the Doha Film Experience – Ajyal’s youth jury, where hundreds of young people between the ages of 8 and 21 will watch and discuss shorts and features and decide on the winning films.

For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit the Ajyal Festival Booth on the ground floor of City Centre Mall or go to

Qatar Airways DC