Posted on November 17, 2017

The fifth Ajyal Youth Film Festival, presented by the Doha Film Institute, has a delightful slate of seven films from across the world that will fire the imagination and bring cheer to the minds of children and the young at heart.

Featured in its specially curated Bariq programme for budding film-goers from the age of four, the seven films are a true celebration of the marvel of cinema, and how masterful directors explore the medium to present creative sketches of man and nature to inspire young minds.

Fatma Al Remaihi, Festival Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Doha Film Institute, said: “Our Bariq programme is tailored to introduce our youngest audiences to the big screen. The seven delightful films included in the showcase are chosen for their subject, narrative and style – each opening new windows of learning as well as wonder and awe in children. The programme is infused with inspiring messages and feel good themes that will appeal to their curious minds and inspire creativity, and will surely win over families this Ajyal.”

The Bariq programme screens at 2:30 PM on Saturday, 2 December at Building 16, Katara Drama Theatre. Screening is free for the public provided they reserve tickets online at The programme includes a live musical cine concert, ‘My Little Beasts’ presented by Festival Tout-Petits Cinema and produced by forum des Images. In Dragon Sledge (Russia/2017), directed by Evgeniya Jirkova, a little girl is out with her father to go for a toboggan ride on a super-snowy winter’s day. When Papa takes a call on his mobile, the youngster becomes impatient – but soon she finds herself on an exhilarating adventure through a medieval world of castles and palaces, friendly dragons and knights in shining armour.

Programme of short films for 2 [].jpg

Directed by Gosha Loshadkin, Once in a While (Russia/2017) is a sweet and lovely short about a friendly little cloud that visits destinations all around the globe, bringing rain with it wherever it goes. But no one is ever happy to welcome it to them. Frustrated and sad because it always has to apologise for its presence, the puffy cloud retreats to the North Pole.

The Little Bird & The Caterpillar (Switzerland/2017), directed by Lena von Döhren, is marked by elegant animation, and is a whimsical story that teaches us about the life cycle of a beautiful butterfly and the importance of friendship. It features a little bird that tends to the leaves growing at the end of its branch home. One day a pesky caterpillar comes along and eats all the yummy buds. At first, the bird is upset and chases the caterpillar away, but with a little understanding the adversaries become friends who can look after one another.

The seven shorts in the Bariq programme include Casse-croûte (France/2016) directed by Burcu Sankur and Geoffrey Godet, a gorgeously animated short film full of charming creatures, humour and surprises. Explaining the food chain, the short takes viewers through a forest where all the animals are hungry but the rule of the jungle means that anyone can become a meal for anyone else. Directed by Loïc Bruyère, In A Cage (France/2016), features a big bear in a zoo that spends his time bored beyond belief as visitors wander past his cage. He befriends a little red bird whose mother leaves it behind when it doesn’t learn to fly quickly enough. The bird loves to sing, and the bear likes music as well but their styles don’t quite seem to work together.

Programme of short films for 3 [].jpg

Goats (Russia/2016) by Ekaterina Filippova, presents three goats on a train. Passing by some delicious trees, they cannot stop themselves from trying to get a mouthful of the delectable greenery. The movement of the train, however, presents them with a challenge that is difficult to overcome. But nothing will stop them from indulging their constant hunger. The Gift (Japan/2016) by Kohei Kajisa, features a little girl who creates a lovely gift for her mother and father, but when she goes to give it to them, they are in the middle of an argument. Fearful of interrupting, but determined to cheer them up, she embarks on a whimsical adventure through toy land, proving that kindness is often the solution to any problem.

The fifth Ajyal Youth Film Festival will be held from November 29 to December 4 at Katara Cultural Village. In addition to film screenings, the event will host interactive panel discussions, masterclasses by leading film experts, red carpet events, and an array of community-oriented events that will delight families.

The Ajyal Youth Film Festival is made possible thanks to its partners: Katara Cultural Village as its Cultural Partner; Qatar Tourism Authority is the Strategic Partner, and Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Ooredoo are the Principal Partners. For more details on the Festival, please visit