Posted on November 13, 2014

A week-long calendar of cultural and creative activities awaits Doha residents as part of the second Ajyal Youth Film Festival, the annual celebration of cinema presented by the Doha Film Institute from December 1 to 6, 2014 at Katara Cultural Village. Fostering community spirit and providing festival-goers with a vibrant line-up of free family activities alongside the main film programme, Ajyal Events will bring unique cultural experiences, engagement with cutting edge technology, insightful discussions on cinema for movie buffs and lively evenings of entertainment for all members of the family.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Doha Film Institute and Festival Director of Ajyal Youth Film Festival, said: “At the heart of everything we do is the community. And this is underlined by the Ajyal Events line-up that promises a memorable time for all – both the young and the young at heart.” “Alongside the main film programme, we are presenting a vibrant range of creative activities that are tailored to inspire young cinephiles, provide platforms for cultural and artistic expression and further strengthen the cultural landscape in Doha.”

The Ajyal Events line-up includes Family Weekend cultural activities; the Sandbox, an interactive environment that provides access to the latest in digital technology; In Conversation sessions with accomplished film talents; and a photography exhibition featuring local artists. Further building the community spirit is the SONY Pop-up Cinema on the Katara Esplanade that will present screenings of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and the first two chapters of ‘The Hobbit’ taking place each night from Dec 2 – Dec 6.

Family Weekend
A range of creative and cultural activities await visitors of all ages at the Ajyal 2014 Family Weekend. Gaming enthusiasts can head to the Ajyal Game Centre, while the Ajyal Media Centre will offer insights on how a television network works. Visitors can even star in their own films at the Ajyal Studio. Live performances by local youth and international talent will be held at the Ajyal Stage that will serve as a colourful showcase on Doha’s cultural diversity. All Family Weekend activities will be held over Dec. 5 and 6 at the Family Village on the Katara Esplanade. Entry is free for the public.

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The Sandbox
From Dec. 2 to 6, The Sandbox digital play space will be held at Katara Building 3. Here, visitors will have hands-on access to the latest gadgets and widgets used in filmmaking, gaming and all-round fun. The Sandbox will feature futuristic installations, educational games, applications in an interactive playground that fosters creativity and tech-skills.

In Conversation with Roger Allers and Mohammed Saeed Harib
Meet Roger Allers, the director of Disney’s magnificent classic, ‘The Lion King’, whose newest film ‘Kahlil Gibran’s the Prophet’ is the closing gala of the second Ajyal Youth Film Festival. One of the world’s greatest animation film directors and screenwriters, Allers was nominated for an Academy Award in 2006 for his short film, ‘The Little Matchgirl.’ He will discuss the secrets of the art of animation with fellow animator Mohammed Saeed Harib, the creator of the Gulf television phenomenon Freej and is also a contributor to ‘Kahlil Gibran’s the Prophet’. The public are requested to reserve tickets for admission to the event. This event is free but ticket reservations are required for entry. It takes place on Friday, Dec. 5 at 8pm at the Katara Drama Theatre.

*Photography Exhibition*
The Ajyal photography exhibition to be held from Dec. 2 to 6 at Katara Building 19, will trace the origin of cinematography with two galleries dedicated to the art of the photograph. The first will present a collection of antique cameras and an exhibition of works by 10 Doha-based photographers who will present varied aspects of the artform – from street photography to fashion shoots and everything in between. The second gallery is dedicated to strengthen dialogue and foster photographic excellence through interaction with photography club members and amateurs. They will discuss the foundations, aesthetics, techniques and newest innovations through special screenings and workshops. This exhibition is free of charge and open to all.

SONY Pop-Up Cinema
The SONY Pop-Up Cinema will transport audiences to ‘Middle Earth’ with screenings of the beloved ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and the first two chapters of ‘The Hobbit.’ held daily from Dec. 2 to 6, at 8pm at the Katara Esplanade. Entry is free with only limited seating available. The second Ajyal Youth Film Festival consists of daily public screenings of local and international films; family days; 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.

Tickets go on sale on 18 November. For more details on the Ajyal Youth Film Festival, please visit or stop by the Ajyal Festival Booth at City Centre from 15 November (10am – 10pm) .