Posted on November 30, 2018

Family and the little ones take centerstage once again today (Friday, Nov. 30, 2018) at the sixth Ajyal Film Festival, the annual cinema event hosted by the Doha Film Institute at Katara Cultural Village. Movie enthusiasts can enjoy award-winning film screenings, while Ajyal Activity Hub continues its rich activities, as well as an insightful Ajyal Talk.

Families can keep the children entertained with the screening of The Gallant Little Tailor (UK/1954) at the Katara Esplanade at 6:30 PM. The screening is free for the public with only limited seating. Directed by Lotte Reiniger, the film is an enchanting retelling of a Brothers Grimm classic about a clever little tailor who outwits too scary but silly giants. This is accompanied by the captivating live performance by the Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation. Titled, ‘A Performance Desperately in Need of an Audience,’ this silent show employs humour, magic and satire to convey the serious issue of migration and exile to younger audiences.

There is more fun for children at the screening of Maya the Bee (Australia, Germany/2014) at 2 PM at the Katara Drama Theatre. An exclusive ‘Kids Red Carpet’ will be held and children can come dressed as Maya the Bee for loads of photo opportunities and delightful surprises. The film is about Maya, a little bee with big ambitions. Several feature films that have gained international acclaim will be screened on Friday. At 8:30 PM at the Katara Drama Theatre, watch Capharnaüm (Lebanon/2018), which won the Jury Prize at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Nadine Labaki, it is a gritty film about a child who rebels against the life imposed on him and launches a lawsuit against his parents.

The delightful Mirai (Japan/2018), nominated for the Best Animated Feature at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2018, will also entertain the kids. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, it is a beautiful and emotionally soaring adventure about the ties that bring families together. The screening is at 7 PM at Katara Opera House. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2018, The Price of Free (USA/2018), directed by Derek Doneen, will be screened at 8:30 PM at Katara 12 Theatre B. It follows the story of Nobel Peace Prize winner and long-time crusader against child labour and slavery – Kailash Satyarthi.

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Directed by Karim Aïnouz, Central Airport THF (Germany, France, Brazil/2017) will be screened at 6:30PM at Katara 12 Theatre A. The film is set in Berlin’s historic Tempelhof Airport, with its massive hangars used as one of Germany’s largest emergency shelters for asylum seekers, like 18-year-old Syrian student Ibrahim and Iraqi physiotherapist Qutaiba. Watch Hayati (Spain, France/2018), directed by Sofi Escude and Liliana Torres, at 8:30PM at Novo Cinemas, The Pearl. It explores the story of Ossamah Al Mohsen and his son, who were tripped up by a TV reporter as they crossed the Hungarian border.

Not to be missed is The Night I Swam (Japan/2017), nominated as the Best Film at Venice Film Festival 2017. Directed by Damien Manivel and Kohei Igarashi, it is set in the beautiful snow-covered mountains of Japan, about the young son of a fisherman who wanders off the beaten path for a big adventure. It will be screened at 2:30 PM at Novo Cinemas, The Pearl. In Zoo (Ireland, UK/2017), directed by ‘Made in Qatar’ jury member Colin McIvor, young Tom and his misfit friends fight to save ‘Buster’ the baby elephant during the German air raid bombings of Belfast in 1941. Inspired by true events, it serves as a reminder that integrity and courage can come from the most unlikely places. The film was the winner of the Gryphon Award at the Giffoni Film Festival 2018. It will be screened at 5:30 PM at Novo Cinemas, The Pearl.

A special showcase of ‘Made in Russia’ short films will also be screened on Friday in celebration of the Qatar-Russia Year of Culture at 4 PM at the Katara Opera House. Curated by Alexei Medvedev, the Made in Russia programme films are: The Hymns of Muscovy (2018) by Dimitri Venkov; The Return of Erkin (2015) by Maria Guskova; Aquathlon (2018) by Alexey; What a Pest (2018) by Svetlana Chernikova; Hide and Seek (2018) by Anastasia Ostapenko and The First Thunder (2017) by Anastasia Melikhova.

Those who would like to be part of an insightful discussion can head to Katara Drama Theatre to attend the first of Ajyal Talks, open for free to the public. Renowned artist ‘eL Seed’ will discuss the ‘The Freedom of Self Expression’ as he shares his creative process and explains what impact he hopes to achieve with his work. The Talk will be from 5 to 6 PM. Tickets to the screenings are priced QR25 and are available at FNAC stores (Lagoona Mall and Doha Festival City) and the Ajyal Katara Main Box office, Building 12. Tickets can be purchased online www.dohafilminstitute.com/filmfestival. Holders of Culture Pass by Qatar Museums will get a QR5 discount on all general screenings.

2018 Ajyal Film Festival’s Official Partners include: Katara Cultural Village – Cultural Partner; Ooredoo – Principal Partner; Novo Cinemas – Strategic Partner and St. Regis Doha – Signature Sponsor.

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